One may think that deliveries of medicines by drones are the stuff of futuristic dreams but DHL has recently launched the next phase of the research project which entails the delivery of all the types of emergency medicines (except those requiring refrigeration) by automated drones to the North Sea island of Juist.


The 12km flight by ‘parcelcopter’ will be in restricted airspace and be scheduled when urgent pharmacy and other supplies are needed outside of the ferry and passenger flight times. The unmanned vehicle will be monitored from the ground and collected by a DHL courier when it lands, which will deliver the medicines to the island’s pharmacy.


Another practical application of the use of drones in healthcare, is the proposed use of drones to carry essential goods required in the battle against HIV/ AIDS and other epidemics in areas where seasonal changes make areas of the world inaccessible to more conventional vehicles.  Sturdy drones with their low running costs could possibly provide access to the estimated 1 billion people in the world without access to all-season roads.


Thinking of the futuristic, flexible logistics networks possible with the use of drones, makes the mind boggle when it comes to drawing up a robust transport validation plan to cover all the possible eventualities!


Catherine Philip