Medical Drone Delivery, the future arrives

Image: Gadfin’s Spirit-One Drone

A new international partnership launching in the UK will revolutionise medical supply chains.

  • New UK drone consortium launched to provide new healthcare supply chain solution
  • Healthcare ‘drone superhighway’ to connect Reading to Coventry
  • Solution to improve efficiency in the UK healthcare system
  • Healthcare providers are offered the opportunity to join a roundtable with sector experts

A new partnership was launched at one of the UK’s largest drone conferences in London today (7th September).

At the Drone X conference in London, international aero-logistics company, Gadfin aviation technology company, Altitude Angel, aerial logistics firm Skyfarer and health supply chain specialists, Medical Logistics UK announced their partnership to offer the UK healthcare supply chain a more cost-effective supply chain alternative.

Harnessing some of the most sophisticated drone technology anywhere in the world, the new partnership will offer UK healthcare system a hub centric approach.  The new supply chain will unlock opportunities for the safe and efficient transportation of pathology, organs, blood, PPE, cancer treatments and COVID-19 tests.

In partnership with policy institute, Curia the new consortium is offering healthcare providers the opportunity to participate in a discussion with leading experts in the sector.

Drones superhighways

Given that there is only a four-hour time window in which blood can be delivered to save lives, the new partnership will develop 165 miles (265km) of ‘drone superhighways’ connecting airspace above Reading, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Coventry and Rugby over the next two years.

Richard Ellis at Altitude Angel said “The Skyway superhighway network will help unlock the huge potential offered by unmanned aerial vehicles and be a catalyst to enable growth in the urban air mobility industry.

“Altitude Angel’s platform is now used in 152 countries across the globe, enabling hundreds of thousands of flight operations to safely take place every month.”

Drones superhighway map Reading to Coventry via Cambridge
The Skyway superhighway network connecting Reading to Coventry covering 265km

The technology

International drone manufacturer Gadfin develops fast, hydrogen powered drones with a quiet signature for long-range urgent deliveries and preventative maintenance missions.

Gadfin’s patented technologies redefine delivery capabilities in terms of flight radius, safety, reliability and automation.

The consortium will use Gadfin’s Spirit-One, a long-range delivery drone for 3-6 kg (6-13lb) payloads that, for the first time, enabling effective delivery of medical and other time critical supplies at low cost.

Through a world-class consortium of experts, Skyfarer provide a bolt-on service for existing operating businesses and a standalone solution if there isn’t any logistics infrastructure.

Founder of Skyfarer, Elliot Parnham said “Skyfarer aims to create the world’s first multidisciplinary fulfilment centre for drone operations in the heart of England, utilising Altitude Angel technology above – this is explained as a Hub and will revolutionise the way drones are used and commercialised in society.”

With an eye to the future, a report by Skyfarer has confirmed that carbon emissions can be reduced by 2.4 million tonnes by 2030 due to the use of drones.

Healthcare systems under pressure

The new partnership is designed to take pressure away from the healthcare system which is warning that this winter will be one of the worst on record.

With limited availability of skilled workforce, the drone-based solution unveiled by the new consortium will increase capacity using an innovative solution without further increasing pressures on staff.

Former Deputy National Medical Director at NHS England, Professor Mike Bewick said “following the pandemic, the NHS is under pressure unlike anything before. New technology solutions are critical for the future sustainability of the NHS and the utilisation of drones is part of the answer.

“This new consortium provides an excellent opportunity to improve the efficiency of supply chains, in particularly the transportation of blood and tissues. Over the coming weeks, we look forward to engaging with clinicians and healthcare providers across the country to understand their short-long term supply chain needs.”

Providing higher quality service using drones

Realising the serious need for higher standards and higher quality service in the delivery of medical supplies, Medical Logistics UK have brought together the new consortium having spent ten years working in the medical courier industry.

Managing Director at Medical Logistics, Alex Landowski said “Our mission at Medical Logistics UK is to always deliver with care and on time. Drone technology provides us with the best opportunity in a generation to place your shipments anywhere within the superhighway route.

“This new consortium provides an exciting opportunity to support the UK healthcare sector with the latest supply chain technology. We look forward to speaking with our current customers and new providers in the coming weeks to discuss the opportunities that drone solutions can bring.”

Healthcare provider roundtable

Hosted by policy institute, Curia and chaired by former National Deputy Medical Officer at NHS England Professor Mike Bewick, healthcare providers across the UK are invited to join a roundtable to discuss the opportunities that drone technology can provide to the supply chain.

Through a series of presentations outlining examples of best practice, successful medical supply chain drone flights and unique insight, Curia invite healthcare providers to join to outline where drones can support their supply chains.

To find out more and to participate in the roundtable, contact


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