The first U.S. FAA-approved drone delivery service seeks partners as it ramps up. Drone delivery answers difficult medical logistical needs for rural and remote healthcare delivery sites and for disaster sites. We’ve written about drone drug and medical supply delivery as a concept and noted early technology demonstrations and projects. In 2016 we wrote about the Telemedical Drone project and Google’s patent for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) delivery of medical support. More recently in June 2017, we wrote about Zipline, a project to deliver blood supplies in Rwanda.
Working in conjunction with NASA, Flirtey made the first FAA-approved drone delivery in April 2015. In that first flight, Flirtey delivered multiple packages of urgent prescription medication to the Remote Area Medical health clinic in Wise, Virginia. Since the initial delivery demonstration project, in 2016 Flirtey partnered with 7-Eleven to deliver over-the-counter medicines, food, and drinks to a customer’s home. Stepping even further from pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, Flirtey and Domino’s Pizza Enterprises partnered in the first commercial pizza-by-drone delivery model in a month-long project, also in 2016. Flirtey’s diversified drone delivery projects demonstrate potential commercial applications that can monetize the technology to fund further business growth and technology development.
Flirtey is now actively seeking business and organization partners. Drone delivery can potentially help businesses service existing customers and unlock new markets. As the drone delivery business case improves, additional testing and scaling up the technology have the potential to advance nonprofit, medical, and humanitarian applications of the technology at the same time.