Airbus and International SOS to develop drones for medical cargo

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Airbus and International SOS signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly study the viability of using drones to deliver medical cargo and supplies.

The agreement was signed on 18 July at the Farnborough International Airshow, and Airbus will help to define and install reliable unmanned aerial medical cargo deliveries as part of International SOS MedSupply services.

MedSupply deploys medical supplies, specialist medical care and equipment to meet the requirements of preventive health programme or in support of a medical emergency in urban as well as unfamiliar and remote locations. The studies will examine both urban to rural and ship to shore deliveries.

Airbus and International SOS will collaborate on safe, secure and enterprise drone delivery for hub to hub distribution of medical cargo, compliant with local regulatory bodies.

Airbus Defence and Space chief executive officer, Dirk Hoke says: “We hope to develop a viable business partnership where we can assist International SOS with unmanned medical cargo delivery. This means using our cutting edge technology to potentially save lives, and transform the medical and travel security industry.”

International SOS chairman, co-founder and chief executive officer, Arnaud Vaissie says: “Bringing together the Airbus expertise in securing aerial deliveries, and our global infrastructure assisting clients worldwide, is a clear move towards a greater efficiency.

“We are always striving to provide our clients with excellent customer service and this innovative venture will enable us to look into furthering our capabilities and enhancing our service.”

Potential medical cargo delivery pilot cases are being explored in Singapore and Indonesia, and Airbus and International SOS will work with the local civil aviation and maritime authorities to develop these capabilities.