Volansi has launched its commercial drone delivery program in rural North Carolina by delivering cold chain medicine to the Vidant Healthplex in Wilson from the Merck manufacturing facility. The delivery drones will allow for rapid and flexible delivery of temperature-sensitive medicines to be delivered to patients.
For now, the Volansi drones will be delivering medicine to patients at the Vidant Healthplex in Wilson in a larger three-phase approach to learn more about the benefits of drone technology and the ability for it to improve access to healthcare.
Hannan Parvizian, CEO and Co-Founder of Volansi said:
“We’ve seen the world’s supply chain strained like never before from the impact of Coronavirus. There’s now an accelerated need for rapid advancements in supply chain technology, especially in healthcare. Drone delivery is one solution to getting critical supplies where they are needed, at the moment they are needed most.”
Volansi is working with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to make its delivery drone even safer and within the law. Volansi hopes to seek additional approval from the FAA to begin drone deliveries in other locations as a part of phase two and phase three of the project.
Craig Kennedy, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain Management, Merck added:
“As a healthcare leader, Merck is very supportive of collaborations using new technologies to explore how one day we could help better serve the healthcare community. Our existing distribution system is strong, and this pilot helps us explore new innovative delivery options that would complement our existing supply chain capabilities.”
The VOLY C10 delivery drone is capable of flying up to a distance of more than 50 miles with a maximum payload of 10 pounds. The C10 was chosen as it allows for various technologies to be installed with ease, such as Command and Control (C2) links or onboard Detect and Avoid (DAA). The drone can also be equipped with temperature sensors to ensure the medicine is staying cool during the flight.
Brian Floyd, CEO, Vidant finished off with:
“At Vidant Health, innovation and collaboration help us increase access to care and meet our mission to improve health and well-being across eastern North Carolina. This project with Merck and Volansi is the beginning of an exciting endeavor to explore additional ways we can meet the unique needs of those we serve.”