Canada-Based Draganfly Expands Into Medical Supply Deliveries Across Massachusetts

One of the largest home hospital care facilities in the country is about to start delivering medicines to its home-based patients with the help of drones.  Mass General Brigham has just inked an agreement with Draganfly, a leading US drone company, to begin deliveries of critical medicines, technical equipment, and laboratory work to its 3,000 home hospital patients in the Boston metropolitan area.

Home hospital patients are unique because they require daily ongoing care and generally cannot visit a local clinic or hospital.  Delivering medical supplies with road vehicles is time-consuming and often results in delays of vital medicines due to traffic congestion or inclement weather.  Drones can slash the delivery time while reducing manpower and fuel costs substantially.  Home care patients, often elderly and disabled, also pay less for the services received.

Home Hospital “aims to create a model that enhances the overall patient experience, improves access to essential services, and provides more cost-effective solutions for its patients,” the company said in a recent statement.

Draganfly’s technology “aims to enhance the quality of care and support for Mass General Brigham’s Home Hospital patients by reducing traffic-related delays around its geographic catchment of the greater Boston metro area, eliminating challenges associated with traditional transportation methods, and enabling the swift and efficient delivery of essential supplies,” the statement added.

Medical supply delivery appears to be a brand new niche for Draganfly – but a welcome addition to its ever-expanding portfolio.  The company is best known for its work in precision agriculture in India and humanitarian relief and demining operations in the Ukraine.  The company has designed and produced three types of drones – including a heavy lift cargo drone, a multi-purpose aerial surveillance drone with advanced LiDAR camera technology, and its award-winning Commander 3 XL Drone – each geared to a different commercial sector.

“Our drone technology will minimize potential delays in ground transportation, providing a distinct advantage to medication delivery. The speed and convenience these drones can operate underscores their need in the healthcare industry,” says Cameron Chell, president and CEO of Draganfly.

Draganfly couldn’t have chosen a more promising – and lucrative – beginning in the medical supply niche.  Mass General Brigham is the largest hospital-based research enterprise in the United States.  It enjoys annual funding of more than $2 billion and in 2022, its annual revenue was nearly $18 billion.  Its operations are expanding exponentially, with more than 2.5 million patients served in the last year alone.

Mass General’s 3,000 home hospital patients are an exclusive niche.  Established in 2022, the company’s expanding Home Hospital division combined the existing home care programs at Massachusetts General Hospital with those offered Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston and nearby Lynn, MA

More than 1,000 new patients were added to Mass General’s Home Hospital in 2023 alone, and further expansion is expected in 2024-2025.  As their patients become more widely dispersed to less accessible areas, the need for aerial drone deliveries will become even greater, officials say.

Draganfly is not the only drone company planning to jump into the rapidly expanding medical supply delivery niche.  Zipline and Wing recently signed agreements with regional hospitals in Ohio to transport critical medicines to patients in remote rural areas.

Both companies have secured FAA approval to make flights on a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) basis.  Draganfly, which already makes such flights in its native Canada, is still seeking FAA approval for BVLOS flights in the US.

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