The Swiss company Matternet, known for its continuous innovation in technology, has gone from medical deliveries operating in Zurich – to joining the UAS Integration Pilot Program that will initiate the testing of a brand new medical drone delivery system later this week.
As The Herald Sun first reported, the trial is scheduled for August 29th and will take place in North Carolina. Using the UAS Test Site in the state, it will begin testing medical supply deliveries, followed by the integration of commercial drone traffic into national airspace.
As The Herald Sun reported, the Swiss company is ready to make a leap forward and start testing the aerial deliveries from its medical office to a hospital in Sunnybrook, North Carolina.
Simulating Blood/Plasma Samples and Flying Above Buildings Before Landing at The Hospital’s Rooftop
At first using trials with water, the deliveries are meant to simulate blood or plasma samples. The flights, operated by Matternet’s drone, are set to traverse above buildings before landing atop WakeMed’s hospital roof. These operations are planned to be expanded in the future – and ultimately be implemented in all of WakeMed’s facilities across the country.
As a spokesperson from the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation (NCDOT) named James Pearce stated (referring to the phases of testing and implementation of the medical drone delivery system):
“We’re going to crawl, then walk, then run. The crawling process is being started this week.”
First Trial August 29th
Meanwhile, this is not Matternet’s first attempt to revolutionize its existing tech. As a well-oiled machine that has been delivering biological samples and medical supplies within Switzerland, the company’s plans are to innovate – and join the UAS Integration Pilot Program in North Carolina.
August 29th is the first time when medical deliveries will be transported via drone in North Carolina – and one of the first times when drones will operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Even though there will be people present and spotting the drone’s path, this is still a new step in the evolution of the UAS Integration Pilot Program.
In July 2015, Flirtey conducted the first ever FAA-approved drone delivery on U.S. soil in collaboration with NASA Langley Research Center, to deliver medical supplies to a rural healthcare clinic in Wise, Virginia.
North Carolina at Forefront of UAS Integration
“Pretty soon people are going to start to see drones overhead, and we want them to know what to expect,” was what Pearce stated, adding that many similar plans are set for the future as the program evolves and expands its local operations.
With this, not only we can see an active and running medical drone delivery system in the near future – North Carolina can also be at the forefront of a new program which can help many patents and contribute to the efficacy and speed of handling medical supply deliveries.