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ATLANTA: March 26, 2019. UPS has begun a daily delivery of medical samples at the WakeMed hospital and campus in Raleigh, North Carolina using Matternet unmanned drones.

The company is using a Matternet’s M2 quadcopter, which is powered by a rechargeable lmatternet ups drone medical deliveryithium-ion battery, to carry medical payloads weighing up to about 5 lbs. over distances of up to 12.5 miles.

According to UPS, this is the first FAA- sanctioned use of a drone for routine revenue flights involving the transport of a product under a contractual delivery agreement. The unmanned aircraft will fly along a predetermined flight path to a fixed landing pad at WakeMed’s main hospital and central pathology lab.

Currently, the majority of medical samples and specimens are transported across WakeMed’s expanding health system by courier cars. The addition of drone transport provides an option for on-demand and same-day delivery, the ability to avoid roadway delays, increase medical delivery efficiency, lower costs and improve the patient experience with potentially life-saving benefits.

The NC Department of Transportation supported Matternet test flights using its drone technology on WakeMed’s campus last August. The Matternet team has already completed more than 3,000 flights for healthcare systems in Switzerland.

The current collaboration is the latest UPS programme to utilize drone flights in support of healthcare logistics. The company partnered with GAVI and Zipline in 2016 to deliver blood products to remote locations in Rwanda.

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