UC San Diego launches drone transport program

UC San Diego Health is launching a drone transport program in collaboration with UPS to speed up delivery time of medical samples, supplies and documents between its hospitals.

The health system will use drones provided by Matternet, a Mountain View, Calif-based drone systems developer, to move medical supplies between hospitals. 

At first, the program will only include Jacobs Medical Center, Moores Cancer Center and the Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine.

The program is part of an effort started last July by UPS and Matternet to improve delivery of medical supplies. It is already in place at WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh, N.C. 

Medical officials at UC San Diego Health will be able to put items such as blood samples into a secure container that attaches to a drone and send them to hospitals. The goal of the program is to enhance the effectiveness, reliability and predictability of delivering medical products between hospitals and labs, the health system said in a news release. 

The drones will follow predetermined, low-risk flight paths. The flights will only be minutes long and will be monitored by remote operators. 

The health system expects the program to start in February. 

Read the full news release here

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