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Code, Fly, Deliver, With Swoop Aero

Paul Mead
25 Mar 2021
swoop aero medical drone

Industry - School Partnership

We are excited to announce our partnership with Swoop Aero who is assisting us in developing an amazing unit of work – Code, Fly, Deliver, which will be available in Term 2.

swoop aero logo

This unit of work involves your students building a business case for a local Drone Delivery Service.  It’s cross curricular, including Business, Geography, Digital and Design Technology, Maths, Literacy, so chat to your colleagues on how you might collaborate.

About Swoop Aero

Swoop Aero is an Australian drone-powered health logistics company, founded to transform the way the world moves essential supplies by making access to the air seamless. 

Swoop Aero is an impact-driven organisation bringing healthcare logistics into the 21st century by deploying bi-directional drone networks into the last and first mile medical health chain to enable the reliable provision and distribution of essential health supplies; including vaccines, routine medications, urgent pathology samples, and PPE equipment.  

The company is trusted to create value by sustainably transforming health supply chains to improve health outcomes in every community and country in which they operate.

Focus on Health Sector

black mother with baby

Since its founding in 2017, Swoop Aero has worked with some of the largest organisations in global health, including UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, UKAID, USAID and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. 

Swoop Aero’s forward-thinking approach to health has led them to be recognised globally as one of the leading players in the med-tech industry. Our successful operations in six countries and three continents, including Vanuatu, Malawi, DR Congo, Mozambique, Australia and the United Kingdom have yielded health, economic and social impacts; generating operational efficiencies and health worker productivity within health sector as well as enhanced the accessibility and availability of essential health supplies, as ascribed under Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing. 

The Problem Swoop Aero Addresses

In the realm of global health, one foundational issue impedes significant progress of Sustainable Development Goals 3: Good Health and Wellbeing. 

This issue is defined as inequality of access to essential health supplies. More than half the global population lack access to basic healthcare. An estimated 930 million people are forced to spend approximately 10% of their annual household earnings on health related expenses. Of this total figure, 100 million people are pushed into ‘extreme poverty’ due to the unattainable costs associated with access and provision of basic healthcare.  

An estimated 1.5 million children die of vaccine preventable diseases every year, accounting for 17% of all deaths in children under 5 years old. In Africa, it is estimated that five children die per minute due to a lack of basic healthcare and essential medicines.

The solution required to bridge the gap pertaining to access of healthcare needed to leapfrog ground-based infrastructure and transportation solutions currently in effect. The integration of air logistics has proven to reduce critical journey times, overcome unpredictable waterways and areas affected by natural disaster, and bridge the critical last mile gap for remote and hard-to-reach communities.

Founding Story

In 2017, Swoop Aero co-founders, Eric Peck and Josh Tepper were asked a question; “Could drones be used to deliver chemotherapy medication across rural Australia”. 

Aerial photo of planes on the ground

The answer was yes, this is possible, but co-founders Eric and Josh found the real question to be, “How can we design a system to deliver essential medical supplies by air, safely, reliably, and cost-effectively, every day of the week?

Eric and Josh took some key learning’s from their experience of manned aviation systems to develop a top down technology, which is easy to use, scalable within 72 hours, and adheres to an exemplary record of safety. The managed logistics service provides a solution for the following activities:

  • Pathology, Pharmaceutical, Vaccines, and Urgent Blood
  • Emerging Supply Chains
  • Seamless Multi-Role Logistics
  • Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief
  • Contactless Drone Deliveries

A Series of Global Firsts

Since the company’s founding in 2017, Swoop Aero has achieved a number of global firsts.

In 2018, Swoop Aero became the first commercial drone logistics company to deliver the first vaccine via drone. Partnering with the Vanuatu Government and UNICEF, Swoop Aero serviced two island communities within the archipelago and provided vaccinations for more than 500 children; previously 1 in 5 children in Vanuatu did not receive their basic vaccinations.

In 2019, Swoop Aero established the first drone port in Central Africa; as part of Phase 1 operations in the Equateur province, DR Congo. Partnering with VillageReach and the DR Congo Ministry of Health, and with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Swoop Aero drastically improved the availability and accessibility of essential health supplies, including vaccinations for polio, malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS. 

In October 2020, Swoop Aero recommenced operations in DR Congo alongside VillageReach and with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and Crown Family Philanthropies, establishing the world’s largest medical drone logistics network that covers a geographical area of 22,000 square kilometres. Since February 2021, Swoop Aero has delivered more than 16,000 childhood vaccines, which ensures 1500 children per month receive their critical immunisations.

In 2020, Swoop Aero achieved a pioneering technological breakthrough; Swoop Aero became the first drone logistics company globally to operate a fleet of aircraft from outside the country of operation. Swoop Aero deployed this capability in order to support the Malawian national government’s health system as they commenced their response to the pandemic. The ongoing use of this technological capability ensured the routine and uninterrupted provision of essential supplies, including COVID-19 test samples, results and PPE. Since February 2020, Swoop Aero has achieved the following:

  • Completed 2,433 operational drone flights
  • Transported 4,147 HIV viral load samples, 325 HIV early infant diagnosis samples, and 177 TB sputum samples from health facilities to district hospitals, enabling patients to know their HIV and TB status without having to spend money or time traveling to district facilities
  • Delivered 18,350 doses of vaccines to health facilities to protect children against tuberculosis, diphtheria, measles, polio, rotavirus, and other diseases
  • Transported 7,250 doses of ARV therapy, ensuring that people living with HIV have consistent access to medicines
  • Sent PPE, including 3,300 pairs of gloves and 1,290 masks, and COVID-19 samples and results, reducing the need for in-person travel through which risk for COVID-19 transmission is increased

If you are interested in learning more about Swoop Aero please head to their website: https://swoop.aero/

Alternatively, you may also sign up to their monthly newsletter here.

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