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Israeli drones to deliver medical supplies to hospitals

Israeli health funds currently spend large amounts of money on inefficient logistics

Gadfin's Spirit One long-distance drone made to deliver medical supplies to Israeli hospitals around the country. (Credit: Gadfin)

Advanced long-distance drones developed by Gadfin, an Israeli aero-logistics company based in Rehovot, near Tel Aviv, will begin delivering medical supplies to Israel’s largest hospitals. 

Through a recently signed partnership with Israel’s largest medical purchasing and logistics company, SAREL Ltd., Gadfin will build an aerial grid that enables the time- and cost-efficient delivery of medical supplies to hospitals within 200 kilometers (around 124 miles). 

If the partnership is successful, Gadfin could expand its medical drone drop operations to Europe and elsewhere. 

The long-distance drone, named Spirit One, is designed to transport its cargo in a standard, cooled medical supply package, equipped to support temperatures as low as -112 degrees Fahrenheit (-80 degrees Celsius). This opens the drone-transport door for temperature-dependent medical supplies, including human organs. 

Spirit One can carry payloads up to 6 kilograms and is reportedly capable of flying 30 kilometers per hour under difficult weather conditions, such as heavy rain and winds. In addition, the drone is equipped with an emergency parachute system to provide an extra layer of safety. 

Gadfin Founder and CEO Eyal Regev told The Times of Israel that his drone technology would turn Israel into a global pioneer and ultimately contribute to saving human lives. 

“This will allow Israel to be the first country in the world that will have such a fast supply of urgent medical supplies to all the hospitals around the country from one center, which will end up saving lives,” Regev said. 

“Within three years, we plan to have the full aerial drone network to deliver medical supplies to 11 hospitals in Israel,” Regev said, “and we are also duplicating this network around the world. 

As a former senior manager at Israel Aerospace Industries, specializing in large Remotely Piloted Aircraft systems, Regev has considerable drone technology experience. He launched Gadfin in 2018 with the assistance of former Israeli Air Force officers, aerospace experts and electrical engineers. 

SAREL CEO and President Avi Buskila welcomed his company’s strategic partnership with Gadfin. 

“This partnership we established with Gadfin, utilizing it’s breakthrough technology, as part of SAREL’s innovation policy, will allow SAREL to be the first medical logistics company in the world to allow a nationwide, on-demand, immediate [access to] lifesaving equipment and supply, regardless of traffic, while reducing inventory and waste due to expired medical supplies,” Buskila said

The potential of drones within the medical supply chain is considered to be enormous. Israeli health funds currently spend large amounts of money on inefficient logistics. This, in turn, results in a waste of funds due to the return of medical supplies deemed to be unsuitable. 

The main challenge at present is that inefficient medical deliveries endanger lives, especially due to late arrival. This is a serious challenge, particularly in densely populated countries, such as Israel, with frequent traffic jams. 

While Gadfin is already involved in projects in Italy and the United Kingdom, with plans to expand its operations internationally, the company is developing a larger drone with a 500-kilometer flight range and the ability to carry payloads up to 150 kilograms. 

“We are working on a second generation, the Spirit X, which we expect to be operational in the beginning of 2025,” Regev said. “If what we are doing in Israel will work here satisfactorily, it will be a model to duplicate abroad, in countries in Europe and especially in third world countries.”

Regev compared his company's drone technology to the pioneering spirit of Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism in the late 19th century, who eventually paved the way toward the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. 

“Once, Theodor Herzl was asked whether train tracks should be installed in the land of Israel. He said, 'Install them, and eventually the trains will show up.' We are installing aerial railways and they will grow,” said Regev. 

Read more: TECHNOLOGY

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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