UPS / Matternet to trial hospital drone delivery

University of California San Diego is to launch a pilot using drones to deliver medical samples, supplies and documents.

The pilot is to use UPS/Matternet drones that will fly between the Jacobs Medical Centre, the Moores Cancer Centre and the Centre for Advanced Laboratory Medicine (CALM).

On the east health campus at La Jolla, medical professionals at Jacobs are to pack payloads into a secure container that will be attached to a Matternet M2 rechargeable battery-powered drone.

Once loaded, the drones are to fly a predetermined, low risk flight path between Jacobs and Moores and then onto CALM. Each flight will take just minutes and will be between set landing/take-off sites. They are to be monitored by remote operators at all times.

Currently medical samples are sent by road and are susceptible to congestion and accidents along the way.

Matthew Jenusaitis, chief administrative officer for innovation and transformation at UC San Diego Health, said, “With drones we want to demonstrate proof of concept for getting vital samples where they need to be for testing or assessment more quickly and simply. It’s another way to leverage emerging technologies in a way that can tangibly benefit our patients.”