UC San Diego Health to test drones as delivery method

UC San Diego Health drones

UC San Diego Health will be commencing tests involving drones as a delivery method for medical samples between its facilities in hopes to reduce the time potentiates for blood results and treatments. The testing is a collaboration between UC San Deigo Health, UPS, and Matternet.

UC San Diego Health to test drones as a delivery method

The tests will commence in February and will mean drones will be taking to the skies between Jacobs Medical Center, Moores Cancer Center, and the Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine (CALM). The drones will be transporting medical samples, supplies, and documents between the locations.

Medical samples are currently transported between UC San Diego’s locations via courier cars, which are subject traffic conditions and other issues. Matthew Jenusaitis, chief administrative officer for innovation and transformation at UC San Diego Health continued, with the following statement on why they are testing drones.

“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.”

The medical samples will be packed by medical professionals, at Jacobs Medical Center into a secure container, which is then attached to Matternet’s M2 drone. The drones will follow ‘low-risk flight paths’ between Jacobs Medical Center and Moores Cancer Center, which is less than a mile away from one another. The drones will later travel to CALM.

The company ensures the drones won’t be equipped with any cameras and will be monitored by remote operators within the FAA’s visual line of sight rules. The flights will only last minutes also reducing the risk of anything going wrong. Matternet doesn’t have the cleanest history with its delivery drones but says it has learned from the issues with Swiss Post.

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Photo: UC San Diego

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