B2B Medical Delivery

Japan: Securing medical access
for remote islands

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16 km

average distance

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12 mins

average flight time

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2,9 kg

average payload

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Challenge

Challenge

Challenge

Challenge

Gotō in the Japanese prefecture of Nagasaki consists of 11 inhabited and 52 uninhabited islands. Its infrastructure places significant logistical demands on the timely provision of medical assistance and daily necessities to the remote communities.

ANA HOLDINGS INC. is looking for a way to improve healthcare and local supplies.

The remote island of Pentecost is one of 83 islands in the South Pacific that make up the nation of Vanuatu. The 60 km long island is made up predominantly of mountainous terrain covered in dense jungle. In many cases, the islanders don’t have access to roads, electricity or permanent healthcare facilities.

Providing access to vaccines in the most remote communities involves nurses travelling from health centers, sometimes having to hike for several hours or days, or travel by boat around the island. Even short distances can take long and costly hours in which the heat-sensitive medical supplies are exposed to the tropical heat and arduous travel conditions.

In the landlocked country of Malawi, the provision of medical care is often reliant on a poor road infrastructure that is highly compromised by seasonal fluctuations and heavy rains.

This challenge contributes to high rates of maternal and child mortality, reduces patients’ ability to adhere to treatment, and slows improvements to the health system.

In rural areas in particular, where citizens rely on local health centers for primary care, healthcare provision is hampered by frequent stockouts of essential medicines and critical medical supplies

In the landlocked country of Malawi, the provision of medical care is often reliant on a poor road infrastructure that is highly compromised by seasonal fluctuations and heavy rains.

This challenge contributes to high rates of maternal and child mortality, reduces patients’ ability to adhere to treatment, and slows improvements to the health system.

In rural areas in particular, where citizens rely on local health centers for primary care, healthcare provision is hampered by frequent stockouts of essential medicines and critical medical supplies

Solution

Solution

Solution

In 2021, ANA partnered with Wingcopter to start conducting comprehensive trials in Gotō to deliver essential medicines and other consumer goods from Fukue Island to Hisaka Island. ANA's ultimate goal is to build and establish a drone delivery network that can meet the needs throughout Japan.

At a later date, ANA and ITOCHU, in collaboration with Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital, successfully tested the transportation of blood derivatives requiring temperature control over long distances using a Wingcopter 198 at the Kawachi drone field in Inashiki-gun, Ibaraki.

An initiative was undertaken to establish a regular and emergency delivery service in the district of Kasungu in rural Malawi to replenish stockouts of essential medicines and other medical commodities in two health centers within the Humanitarian Drone Testing Corridor and one outside the Corridor.

The medical commodities transported from Kasungu Airport to the three health centers included essential medicines such as antimalarials, maternal health products and antibiotics, and general medical supplies such as viral load samples and masks, servicing a total population of over 115,000.

An initiative was undertaken to establish a regular and emergency delivery service in the district of Kasungu in rural Malawi to replenish stockouts of essential medicines and other medical commodities in two health centers within the Humanitarian Drone Testing Corridor and one outside the Corridor.

The medical commodities transported from Kasungu Airport to the three health centers included essential medicines such as antimalarials, maternal health products and antibiotics, and general medical supplies such as viral load samples and masks, servicing a total population of over 115,000.

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Outcome

Outcome

Outcome

The successful flights have proven that the use of Wingcopter drones can significantly speed up the delivery of vital medicines and blood derivatives in accordance with pharmaceutical delivery guidelines.

This drastically reduces waiting times for patients and ensures medical access in hard-to-reach regions such as the Gotō Islands. The tests also included drone take-offs and landings at airports with scheduled airline flights.

The deliveries by Wingcopter helped reduce the overall number of stockout days in the health centers during the implementation period. The project will therefore be continued and expanded in scope.

The deliveries by Wingcopter helped reduce the overall number of stockout days in the health centers during the implementation period. The project will therefore be continued and expanded in scope.

  

"The ongoing tests of Wingcopter aircraft represent a significant step forward in the creation of a viable drone transportation network.

A functioning drone transportation infrastructure will help improve quality of life in rural areas across Japan."

Tetsuya Kubo Vice President of ANA HD

Impressions

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