Air Methods Launches Spright, a New Drone Solution, Deploying Fleets of Wingcopters

Areal view near Denver, Colorado

Air Methods, the nation’s leading air medical service provider, announced the launch of Spright, a newly formed drone solution designed to help improve healthcare access and minimise supply challenges. Collaborating with Wingcopter, an industry-leading German drone manufacturer, Spright is creating a drone-based, healthcare-specific delivery network across the United States.

As a result of the nation’s efforts to keep healthcare costs down, Americans are impacted by a lack of immediate or timely access to healthcare resources. When these shortages impact the availability of blood products, medicines, diagnostics or small medical devices, the consequences can be dire. The solution is a flexible, rapid distribution network designed with 21st-century technology.

Aerial photograph of agricultural fields, and residential area with Barr Lake near Denver, Colorado.

This new drone delivery network will improve access to urgently needed medical supplies for healthcare providers and the communities they serve. Air Methods will make this possible by deploying fleets of Wingcopter’s new flagship delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198. The team at Wingcopter has the proven technology and production capacity to enable Spright to create a nationwide network built around Air Methods’ existing infrastructure of more than 300 bases, serving hundreds of hospitals across 48 states in predominantly rural areas.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated some of the real challenges in our health care system, creating an opportunity to find better solutions to extend access to healthcare, especially in rural America,” said JaeLynn Williams, CEO of Air Methods. “That is why we are doing what Air Methods does best, taking to the skies, using the latest in technology and drone innovation, delivering hope and facilitating healing with speed and efficiency that was previously unimaginable. We see Spright serving a vastly underserved market and playing a huge role in a future full of better outcomes for everyone.”

This fall, Spright will be kicking off this endeavour by partnering with Hutchinson Regional Medical System in Hutchinson, Kan., to launch an initial pilot project using Wingcopter’s delivery drones. This project will provide a proof of concept of how this new and exciting venture can provide needed relief and certainty for medical resources in rural America. Spright will provide additional details on this initial project as the deployment draws near.

The Wingcopter 198 is a state-of-the-art autonomous eVTOL delivery drone that enables safe, reliable, fast and bi-directional medical deliveries. It is designed to provide maximum flexibility and ease of use in operations. The company’s patented tilt-rotor technology allows for vertical take-off and landing while also enabling efficient forward flight over long ranges, thus eliminating the need for additional infrastructure. The drone has a range of up to 68 miles (110 kilometres), a maximum speed of 90 mph (145 kilometres per hour) and can carry a payload of up to 13 lbs. (6 kg). Therefore, the Wingcopter 198 is an excellent choice to make Spright’s vision a reality.

“We are thrilled to team up with Air Methods to create a lifesaving drone delivery network throughout the United States,” said Tom Plümmer, Co-Founder and CEO of Wingcopter. “Our technology has been used globally to deliver medical supplies, for example, effectively, insulin in Ireland, children’s vaccines in Vanuatu, emergency medication in Malawi, and just recently, blood samples in Germany. Our vision to ‘save and improve lives’ resonates perfectly with Air Methods’ legacy of providing lifesaving care, combined with Spright’s ambition to improve the quality of healthcare across the U.S. by deploying fleets of Wingcopters, and we are excited about scaling this together.”

Today, Air Methods serves as the nation’s most significant and most experienced FAA Part 135 Operator. Combining this operational experience with Wingcopter’s cutting-edge delivery drone technology gives Spright a unique ability and the resources to improve medical supply chains dramatically.      

Tags : Air MethodsWingcopter 198
Georgina Ford

The author Georgina Ford

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