UPS Uses Drones to Transport Medical Samples across Hospital System
Council member, has begun to use unmanned drones in the transportation of medical
samples at a North Carolina hospital system, WakeMed. This effort is part of
the company’s plan to incorporate drones into its delivery of supplies and
samples to medical facilities.
UPS has rolled out this new program by partnering with
Matternet, a drone-logistics startup. This has allowed medical samples to be
shuttled across the scattered facilities of the hospital system. Medical
workers load drones with medial specimens and send them flying along
predetermined flight paths to central labs. While in flight, the drones are
monitored by remote drone pilots.
In a statement, UPS said, “Currently the majority of medical
samples and specimens are transported across WakeMed’s expanding health system
by courier cars. The addition of drone transport provides an option for
on-demand and same-day delivery, the ability to avoid roadway delays, increase
medical delivery efficiency, lower costs and improve the patient experience
with potentially life-saving benefits.”
The NEC applauds UPS for taking the initiative with this
critical new technology, and for paving the way for other programs where drones
will be instrumental.