By DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Leading healthcare logistics provider EMED Group and drone logistics and monitoring leader Skyports Drone Services have completed a proof-of-concept project seeking to provide medical courier services with additional innovation and sustainability benefits.
The four-week trial launched this past June, and was run with EMED Group customer East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT). The project saw the successful delivery of more than 400 pathology samples between two ESNEFT sites, demonstrating the ability of frequent drone operations to assist traditional medical courier services in further enhancing services for patients and healthcare professionals. Deliveries are being conducted using Skyports Drone Services’ Swoop Aero Kookaburra III aircraft, a fixed wing aircraft with a 3kg payload. The drone is a tried and tested platform, which Skyports Drone Services has used on countless medical delivery missions, flying tens of thousands of kilometres to date. The drone flies at 100 meters in segregated airspace.
Medical Courier Services by Drone
“This project is an important milestone highlighting innovative practices in the medical courier space. As a healthcare business, we are driven by our mission to improve the wellbeing of the communities we serve,” said Craig Smith, Group CEO of EMED Group. “This initiative is a great example of this. Not only does it provide tangible environmental benefits, but it also ensures that vital pathology samples and medical supplies are quickly and effectively transported between points of care with no risk to delays we often experience on the road network. All of this ultimately ensures our communities are that little bit healthier and those with medical needs are diagnosed more rapidly.”
“We’re at a really important stage in the scaling of medical drone logistics,” said Director of Skyports Drone Services Alex Brown. “Projects such as this one with EMED are helping pave the way for permanent operations by demonstrating just how safe, beneficial and effective drone services are – and the ease with which they can be implemented. Each delivery we complete ensures that a patient receives the care they need that bit quicker. At scale, the impact is transformational.”
“This is a really exciting step in looking at new technologies to help deliver healthcare faster,” said Shelley Garrey, Service Lead – Support Services at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. “Using drones means patients will receive their results quicker while saving time and resources. This is an exciting pilot project and we hope we can look to expand in the future.”
Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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