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Swiss Post Use Drones to Transport Medical Samples Between Hospitals

Imagine having a collaboration of this type between a drone builder and our dear NIPOST of blessed memory, what a wonderful world we will be in.

In collaboration with the Ticino EOC hospital group and the drone manufacturer Matternet, Swiss post they launched a project to transport laboratory samples between two EOC hospitals. The use of drones—instead of transporting the samples by road as is the current procedure—will make transportation faster and more efficient, in turn improving the provision of care to patients.

The drone in use is an 80 cm diameter quadcopter from Matternet which specializes in the transport of light goods weighing up to two kilograms. With an average speed of ten meters per second and a range of up to 20 kilometers, the Swiss post’s drones will ensure the rapid exchange of lab samples with regular flights between two hospitals in Lugano – the “Ospedale Italiano” and the ‘ospedale Civico.’ the idea of a drone taking care of the exchange of laboratory samples in a city is a first in Switzerland, with Swiss post already playing a pioneering role in drone logistics worldwide.

As soon as the drone meets all of the strict requirements regarding safety, practicality, and reliability as set out by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), the regular use of drones between the two hospitals will become an everyday occurrence. Swiss post hopes to have drones regularly transporting lab samples from 2018.

From 2018 onwards, trained hospital staff will be able to load the drone independently with a safety box (in which the lab samples are packaged) and launch the drone with a smartphone application. the drone will then fly autonomously along the predefined route to its destination, where the box will be received by another member of staff.


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