We know from several successful examples that drones and medical deliveries are a match made in heaven. In Rwanda and Tanzania, Zipline has been saving lives with medical deliveries covering rural areas. The California startup is also launching in the US as part of the UAS Integration Pilot Program.
In Switzerland, Matternet has started urban drone deliveries for medical purposes.
And this week, in Canada, Drone Delivery Canada (DCC) has announced that it will be conducting a pilot project with the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) National Microbiology Laboratory. Together they will explore the potential and feasibility of a drone delivery system to ferry blood-borne infection testing in isolated communities.
Drone Delivery Canada: Developing a feasible solution
But putting together an aerial platform that can handle the complexities of carrying sensitive medical cargo isn’t easy. DDC’s logistics platform will provide the foundation for the development, prototyping and testing of a customized ‘Depot to Depot’ drone.
The drone will require climate-control for the cargo, which monitors temperature and humidity. Not to mention the creation of security protocols to protect patient confidentiality.
If process proves successful and both DDC and the PHAC are satisfied with the results, the plan is to work with Transport Canada to ramp up and implement a network of drone delivery depots to speed deliveries of blood tests in remote communities.
“We are pleased to be contributing to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s program to determine the feasibility of improving access to testing for blood-borne infections utilizing our drone technology,” said Tony Di Benedetto, CEO of Drone Delivery Canada.
“This is a unique and new application of our drone delivery platform that could result in significant health benefits in remote, isolated communities across Canada.”