US-based logistics company United Parcel Service (UPS) launched a new service where it used drones to transport blood and other medical samples between various buildings at the WakeMed Raleigh’s medical campus.
The service makes use of autonomous drone developer Matternet’s M2 quadcopter that can carry a payload of up to five pounds for a distance of approximately 20km.
Medical experts at the hospital’s nearby facilities load the drone’s secure container with blood samples or other medical specimens, and then the drone follows a fixed path to the healthcare system’s main hospital and pathology lab for unloading.
On the other hand, could take drivers up to 30 minutes depending on traffic, but UPS’s unmanned drones can cut that delivery time to just three minutes and 15 seconds.
For now, the firm expects the drones to make less than 10 deliveries per day on the WakeMed campus, but these deliveries could increase in the future too.
“This particular use case of healthcare specimens within the healthcare campus is not only critical in a just-in-time event, but it could be a life-changing event,” Bala Ganesh, VP of Advanced Technology Group at UPS.
“The capabilities we bring to the table adds on to the capabilities for healthcare to provide better service and patient care to their patients.”