Why is Swoop Aero focused on healthcare?

Swoop uses autonomous drones to transport goods by air. We call it airborne mobility. And instead of delivering coffee and burritos, we focus on essential healthcare supplies. But why?

A joint report from the World Bank and the World Health Organisation found that at least half of the world’s population still cannot obtain essential health services. At Swoop, we believe the provision of essential health services should be a universal right and we’re working to make this a reality.

The challenge 

One of the biggest challenges to health services in remote areas is getting the medical supplies to where people need them. That last mile transportation is often done by health administrators or nurses and can be treacherous. Here are some of the challenges they have to deal with;

Geographic challenges
Having to navigate mountains, rivers, dense jungle and rough seas while maintaining the integrity of the medical supplies.  

Infrastructure challenges 
Having to take roads, if they exist, that are barely usable or simply walking or taking a boat. Note, in places with low infrastructure, the transport that does exist is often prohibitively expensive.   

Storage challenges
In many parts of the world, a constant and reliable power source doesn’t exist. This makes storing and refrigerating medicine basically impossible for many smaller health facilities. And a lack of these facilities means health workers cannot stock adequate medicine to meet the everyday needs of their patents.

Overcoming challenges: current approach

Current approaches to the transport of essential health supplies don’t effectively meet the needs of the people they’re there to serve. Some of the key gaps include;

    • Long wait times for the delivery of essential health supplies delays the provision of primary health care
    • A scheduled delivery approach isn’t reactive to the needs of the patients and results in wastage of medical supplies
    • Large volumes of excess medical supplies are wasted in the system because central stores cannot redistribute
      limited supplies quickly to where they’re needed
    • There is unnecessary, and inadequate, duplication of facilities such as refrigeration systems which increases costs and ongoing maintenance

The overall result is that it is not cost effective to give people everywhere full access to essential health services. 

What’s next?

Our mission is to provide networks of autonomous drones as a service, which transport essential supplies, on-demand, for the people who need it most. 

Stay tuned for more updates on the work Swoop is currently doing in Africa and the Pacific.

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