Matternet and UPS have jointly announced they will expand hospital drone deliveries in North Carolina, adding the Wake Forest Baptist Health medical campus. The addition of the new medical campus will allow for medical supplies and PPE to be transported in a much shorter time frame.

The addition of the Wake Forest Baptist Health medical campus will see two new routes added to a drone network with existing deliveries from the health campus to two other locations. This also marks the first hub and spoke model for drone deliveries in the US.

UPS has stated that one of the routes will be used to transport scheduled deliveries of specialty infusion medicines due to the high cost and short shelf life of the medicine – on top of it being specific to each patient. The second route will be used to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) to medical staff to keep them safe on the COVID-19 frontlines.

Here’s Conrad Emmerich, chief supply chain officer at Wake Forest Baptist Health:

“Increasing efficiency of our supply chain routes helps provide better service to our patients and their families. Partnering with UPS Flight Forward through our iQ Healthtech Labs opens new doors for us to do just that through drone delivery.”

UPS and drones

UPS has a rich history with drones, adopting them over the last few years with key partners such as Matternet, CVS, and Workhorse Group. UPS has been delivering medical supplies and medicine to patients for some time now with an increase during the COVID-19 outbreak. The company has even begun to use drones to keep up with the forever increasing demand for same-day delivery.

Photo: Matternet

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