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Home » NEXT DELIVERY Co., Ltd. We conducted a drone demonstration experiment in the eastern region of Nara City for prescription drug delivery using level 3.5 flight and medicine delivery in times of disaster.

NEXT DELIVERY Co., Ltd. We conducted a drone demonstration experiment in the eastern region of Nara City for prescription drug delivery using level 3.5 flight and medicine delivery in times of disaster.

A drone demonstration experiment was conducted in the eastern region of Nara City for the delivery of prescription drugs using Level 3.5 flight and for the delivery of medicines during disasters.
Nara City (Mayor: Gen Nakagawa), KDDI Smart Drone Co., Ltd.
(Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Masafumi Hirono, hereinafter referred to as KDDI Smart Drone), Community Medical Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Representative Director) NEXT DELIVERY Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Kosuge Village, Yamanashi
Prefecture, Representative Director: Keisuke Taji, hereinafter NEXT DELIVERY) will conduct an unmanned aircraft level 3.5 flight in Nara City from February 26 to February 28, 2024. We conducted a
demonstration experiment of drone logistics starting from a pharmacy for prescription drug delivery and disaster medicine delivery.
[Image 1:×592.jpg] [About this demonstration] 1. background
The eastern region of Nara City consists of seven districts: Tahara, Yagyu, Oyagyu, Higashi-sato, Sakawa, Miyako, and Tsukigase, and is located in the northern part of Yamato Plateau, located at an altitude of 200m to 600m. The area accounts for approximately 57% of the entire Nara City, but the population is approximately 10,000, or
approximately 3% of the entire Nara City. Additionally, the eastern region has approximately 4,700 people aged 65 and over, and the aging rate is approximately 45.7%, which is more than 10 points higher than Nara City as a whole (as of March 2024). Meanwhile, in February last year, Nara City conducted a demonstration experiment (Note 1) of parcel delivery using drones in Tsukigase and Yagyu. We conducted a demonstration experiment for the delivery of pharmaceuticals, for which demand is expected to increase due to the current situation. 2. Implementation content
(1) Demonstration experiment of prescription drug delivery There are five clinics in the eastern region (Yagyu, Tahara, Tsukigase, Miyako, and Koto), and although each clinic is different, the types of medicines handled and the inventory are different. Due to the circumstances, 10-20% of patients receive prescriptions outside the hospital. On the other hand, in the eastern region, there are only two dispensing pharmacies: Hidamari Pharmacy Tahara Branch and Hidamari Pharmacy (Tokyo ), and for out-of-hospital prescriptions, patients must go to Hidamari Pharmacy or a pharmacy in the city to pick up their prescriptions. It takes about 30 minutes by car from the eastern region to the city center, and it takes more than an hour in far-flung areas, and the number of local buses is limited to about once every two hours, making transportation to pharmacies an issue. In addition, as the population ages and more people surrender their driver’s licenses, it is expected that more residents will find it difficult to go to pick up prescription drugs, and it is desirable to pick up prescription drugs at home. Therefore, as one solution to these regional issues, we conducted a demonstration experiment using drones to perform everything from medication guidance to receiving
prescription drugs at home.
■Details Assuming that patients do not have a communication device for online medication guidance, we first delivered tablets from Hidamari Pharmacy Tahara store to patients’ homes by drone, allowing them to receive online medication guidance. After providing online medication guidance remotely from Hidamari Pharmacy Tahara store, we delivered prescription drugs from Hidamari Pharmacy Tahara store to patients’ homes by drone.
Flight route: Hidamari Pharmacy Tahara store ↔ patient’s home Flight distance: Approximately 1.4 km one way Delivery: Prescription medicine Flight time: Approximately 4 minutes
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[Image 4:×1124.jpg] Receiving online medication guidance using a tablet
[Image 5:×952.jpg] How to receive prescription medicine
(2) Demonstration experiment for pharmaceutical delivery in times of disaster In January of this year, Nara City collaborated with the Nara City Pharmacists Association (General Incorporated Association) to develop medical relief activities in times of disaster. We have concluded an agreement. This agreement stipulates the requirements for mutual cooperation between Nara City and the Nara City Pharmacists Association to carry out medical relief activities in the event of a disaster such as an earthquake or storm or flood damage. In the event of a disaster, pharmacies, etc. will supply medicines, etc. to first-aid centers or evacuation centers. Drones were also used in disaster response efforts, such as delivering medicines and other supplies to areas where roads were cut off and land transport was not possible due to the Noto Peninsula earthquake that occurred in January of this year. Especially in the mountainous areas of the eastern region, roads are likely to be cut off due to landslides, fallen trees, and road collapses in the event of a disaster. Therefore, in preparation for a disaster, we conducted a demonstration experiment to secure a route for supplying pharmaceuticals by drone from a pharmacy to the Eastern Branch Office (secondary evacuation center).
■Details For patients injured while evacuating from a disaster or in case of isolated villages, medical supplies (disinfectants, bandages, poultices, painkillers) will be delivered by drone from Hidamari Pharmacy Tahara branch to the eastern branch (secondary evacuation center). It has been delivered. With the opening of the flight route, it will now be possible to use GPS coordinates to deliver medicines by drone starting from pharmacies.
Flight route: Hidamari Pharmacy Tahara store → Eastern branch Flight distance: Approximately 6.5km one way Delivery: Pharmaceuticals (disinfectant, bandages, poultices, painkillers) Flight time: Approximately 15 minutes
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[Image 8:×2082.jpg] Delivery condition
[Image 9:×402.jpg] How to check symptoms online
3. Effects of demonstration experiments
・In combination with online medication guidance, we were able to confirm prescription drug delivery operations using drones.・We were able to confirm the operation of delivering medical supplies during disasters using drones.・Since the radio waves along the flight route were uninterrupted and there was no impact on the surrounding environment, we were able to open a safe route for the delivery of prescription drugs and medical supplies.・Through unmanned aircraft level 3.5 flights, we were able to confirm the realization of manpower savings and efficiency improvements with an eye toward implementation. (Note 4)
4. Role of each company in the demonstration experiment
Nara City: Commercialization consideration, related site surveys, field provision, etc. KDDI Smart Drone: Project supervision, aircraft provision, operation Community Medical Co., Ltd.: Dispensing services, medication guidance NEXT DELIVERY: Aircraft provision and operation 5. Summary of the press conference
[Nara Mayor Gen Nakagawa] As the population declines and it is difficult to secure workers, it is important to utilize drone technology as a savior to overcome this situation. Looking ahead to practical application, we feel that the technology has been
established and we are seeing a positive response, but we feel that it is difficult to provide it as a service to users at this stage due to cost considerations, and in the initial stage, we will not be able to provide it to users as a service. I think one way to do this would be to narrow down the area and provide services, with government backing up, so that everyone can get used to using them. I think increasing versatility will solve the cost problem, so I hope that it will quickly spread across the country. In addition, in the future, we can envisage the use of level 4 unmanned aircraft flights to provide services in urban areas. First, we will conduct demonstration experiments using cutting-edge technology in hilly and mountainous areas to create social change, and we hope that new challenges will be born from the eastern region of Nara City to support and improve the whole of Japan. .
[Atsuji Yoshitani, Group 3 Manager, Community Medical Co., Ltd., Vice Chairman of the Nara City Pharmacists Association, General
Incorporated Association] It has been about 20 years since we ran a pharmacy in the eastern region. In the past, it was common for patients and their families to come together and prescribe
medications, but recently it has become more common for elderly patients to drive alone to the pharmacy. . While it is difficult to secure workers due to the population trend in the eastern region decreasing by about 40% over the past 20 years, the demand for deliveries to elderly people living alone and elderly couples is increasing and will continue to increase in the future. I’m making a prediction. Just as we were thinking of ways to solve the delivery demand, we heard about a demonstration experiment using this drone. I thought that if it were to develop in the future, it would be very helpful to be able to deliver medicine to patients even in depopulated areas. There are also people in the eastern region who live in places where there are few houses nearby. When a disaster like the Noto Peninsula Earthquake occurs and roads are cut off by landslides and fallen trees, the problem is that injured people become isolated. I think it is important for the eastern region to have a route for delivering medicines in case a disaster occurs. On the other hand, the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Act stipulates that drugs are sold face-to-face by pharmacists after receiving direct consultation from patients. It is good that drugs can be easily obtained through online sales, online medication administration, and other channels other than face-to-face sales, but there are problems such as taking large doses. In order to dispel such concerns, I hope that activities to resolve local issues will spread across the country by observing guidelines set by the government and clearing up issues.
[Image 10:×920.jpg] From left to right in the photo: Community Medical Co., Ltd. Group 3 Manager, Nara City Pharmacists Association Vice Chairman Junji Yoshitani, Nara Mayor Gen Nakagawa, KDDI Smart Drone Co., Ltd. Solution Business Promotion Department 2 Manager Toshihiro Morishima, Co., Ltd.
6. About the aircraft/flight management system
The aircraft used AirTruck (Note 2), a logistics-only drone from Japan developed by Aeronext Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Aeronext), and performed Level 3.5 flight (autonomous flight beyond visual line of sight over uninhabited land). In addition, the operation will be carried out by NEXT DELIVERY, a subsidiary of Aeronext whose main business is the drone delivery business, and KDDI Smart Drone, and the aircraft will be controlled remotely and autonomously using mobile communication developed by KDDI Smart Drone. We utilize the operation management system of Smart Drone Tools (Note 3), which enables this. – Document –
(Note 1) Release material “Demonstration experiment of parcel delivery using drones conducted in Nara City”
(Note 2) Logistics-only drone AirTruck is a mass-produced
logistics-only drone from Japan jointly developed with ACSL by Aeronext Co., Ltd., a next-generation drone technology startup. Stable flight is achieved using Aeronext’s unique aircraft structure design technology 4D GRAVITY(R) (Note 5). The baggage is optimally placed near the ideal center of gravity of the aircraft, and with the baggage horizontal and top-loading and bottom-loading mechanisms, it has usability that is ideal for logistics, and is specially designed for logistics applications with the aerodynamic characteristics necessary for one-way forward movement and long-distance flights. A specially developed logistics machine that is “faster, further away, and more stable.” In Japan, it has a top-class flight record by flying in various implementation areas and demonstration experiments, and overseas in Mongolia, it has a flight record at an altitude of 1300 m and an outside temperature of -15 degrees Celsius (November 2023). Maximum payload is 5kg, maximum flight distance is 20km.
(Note 3) Smart Drone Tools A service provided by KDDI Smart Drone Co., Ltd. that allows you to combine the “4G LTE Package”, which is a collection of basic tools necessary for remote autonomous flight of drones, with options that suit the usage scenario. The “4G LTE Package” includes a “Flight Management System” that allows remote control of drones and real-time sharing of images from anywhere in the country, a “Cloud” for managing captured data, and “Mobile Communication” that allows unlimited data usage. We provide a collection of tools such as an “overflight mobile communication area map” that allows you to check in advance whether it is possible to fly beyond visual line of sight using mobile communication in an area. (Note 4) One assistant for the prescription drug delivery route for online medication guidance, and four assistants for the disaster medicine delivery route. Reduces the work involved in installing and removing signboards.
(Note 5) Aircraft structural design technology 4D GRAVITY (R) Aerodynamics are achieved by equalizing the motor rotation speed regardless of the attitude, status, or movement during flight, and by controlling lift, drag, and center of gravity of the aircraft based on the shape and structure of the aircraft. Airframe structure design technology developed by Aeronext improves the basic performance of industrial drones such as stability, efficiency, and maneuverability, as well as the transportation performance of logistics drones, by optimizing their characteristics. Aeronext has patented this technology and manages it as the 4D GRAVITY(R) patent portfolio. The improved basic performance of 4D GRAVITY(R) will expand the
possibilities for industrial drones to be used in new markets and applications.
[What is Nara City?] Nara City is located in the northern part of Nara Prefecture, approximately 25 km from Osaka City and 35 km from Kyoto City, both of which are approximately 1 hour away by train. The area is 276.94 square kilometers, accounting for approximately 7.5% of the total area of ​​Nara Prefecture, and is long from east to west, measuring 33.51 km from east to west and 22.22 km from north to south. Additionally, the topography differs with Mt. Kasuga as the border; the area east of Mt. Kasuga is located in the northern part of the Yamato Plateau, which has a gentle mountainous terrain with an altitude of 200 to 600 meters, while the area west of Mt. Kasuga is This is a flat area located at the northern end of the Nara Basin. In 2002, it became a core city and was able to engage in more proactive town development than before, and in 2005 it incorporated and merged Tsukigase Village and Miyako Village. *Please see for an overview.
[About KDDI Smart Drone Co., Ltd.] KDDI Smart Drone is building a service that realizes safe remote and long-distance flights by controlling drones using mobile communications such as 4G LTE. We are working to realize new businesses using drones and provide flexible services that meet customer needs in various fields such as
inspection, logistics, monitoring, agriculture, and surveying. We also operate the KDDI Smart Drone Academy, a drone school that operates unmanned aircraft operator qualification courses that correspond to national drone qualifications, as well as specialist courses specializing in solutions, at more than 10 locations in Japan. *Please see for company profile.
[What is Community Medical Co., Ltd.] Community Medical Co., Ltd. has a corporate philosophy of “Continuing to be an indispensable presence in local medical care by supporting, supporting, and connecting,” and provides not only general outpatient services but also online medication guidance and nursing care facilities. , is working on home medical care in private homes. In the future, we will increase the number of drive-through pharmacies and dispensing pharmacies that are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and provide services that local residents can use with peace of mind.
[What is NEXT DELIVERY Co., Ltd.] A drone delivery company established in Kosuge Village, Yamanashi Prefecture in 2021 based on the Aeronext Group’s mission: “Toward a world where affluence spreads to every corner with new social infrastructure in the era of 100-year lifespans.” A strategic subsidiary of Aeronext, whose main business is Aeronext and Seino HD are jointly developing and deploying SkyHub(R), a new smart logistics system that will become a new social
infrastructure that connects existing logistics and drone logistics. We also develop peripheral businesses such as the development, sales, operation, and maintenance of hardware and software related to drone delivery. Starting with Kosuge Village in Yamanashi Prefecture, we are working to improve the efficiency of regional logistics and solve problems in local communities in various locations around the country, including Kamishihoro Town in Hokkaido and Tsuruga City in Fukui Prefecture. *Please see for company profile.
*Company names and product/service names mentioned in this press release are registered trademarks or trademarks of each company. More details about this release: