A new report by Polaris Market Research estimates the global medical drones market USD 947.6 million by 2027.
“Medical drones” as described by the report primarily refer to unmanned delivery vehicles. “Medical Drones Market Share, Size, Trends, Industry Analysis Report, Drone Type (Fixed Wing, Rotor Drone and Hybrid Drones); By Application (Blood transfer, Drugs/Pharmaceutical Transfer, Vaccination Programs), End-Use (Emergency Medical Services, Government Organizations, and Blood Banks), By Regions; Segment Forecast, 2020 –2027” provides detailed analysis of current projects.
“Zipline drones, the frontrunner in the market, have cumulatively flown more than 1 million kilometres in Rwanda with more than 13 thousand deliveries. In the outskirts of Kigali, drones carried 35% of blood samples to be transfused. The Ghana the company is also started delivering COVID-19 testing kits,” says the press release. While suppliers such as Zipline have established full operations in Africa, other projects in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia have been more limited in scope.
The pandemic, however, has helped to move drone delivery trials forward across the globe, including in North America, which the report says will lead the market for medical drones. The UAS Integration Pilot Program provided opportunities in the U.S. for medical delivery projects. Delivery and logistics giant UPS has established a medical drone delivery program on large medical campuses, and is ready to expand. As technology improves, so do applications. “There’s continuous ongoing research in this field to develop new products with superior accuracy and speed in delivery of medical supplies to the targeted location,” says the report press release. “These drones can be either operated manually or they can be strategically programmed for performing long-distance flights and following the designated route precisely. In addition, they also have several key benefits such as they don’t require any landing space and can be programmed to drop the supplies by flying near to the ground.”
“Medical Drones” are delivery drones used for medical purposes – and the operations and processes specific to those applications. While many early players such as Zipline have developed a full solution, many operations and logistics companies have partnered with drone companies, such as the partnership between UPS and Matternet. “Players in the market have primarily adopted partnership strategy to strengthen their position in the global market. For instance, in June 2020, TechEagle has partnered with Zomato to boost the delivery of medical supplies via drones all across the regions in India that are facing floods and due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation,” says the release.
That the market will grow quickly is no surprise. Medical drone delivery is a compelling and often life saving application, one that may help regulators gain the support they need to allow programs to scale. Like many delivery programs, medical drones also have a convincing financial benefit. “The UK based research firm Nesta in its report titled “Flying High” in collaboration with NHS discussed the possibilities of rapid transportation of medical necessities in between the UK hospitals based in London… It is being estimated that the use of medical drones could result in saving USD 21 billion in the annual cost to the country’s economy,” says the press release.