A pilot project that will launch this summer will see drones deliver light medical equipment like test kits and swabs to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH).
But if the six-month pilot project is successful, the hope is that drones may eventually have a big impact on health care transportation.
“This pilot project will demonstrate the speed of drones delivering medical goods to the Oakville hospital in comparison to traditional transport means,” says Steve Magirias, CEO of Drone Delivery Canada.
“We want to be able to service the hospital and its patients with medical goods that can save lives.”
His company is working with Halton Healthcare, DSV Air & Sea in Milton and McMaster University researchers to develop innovative ways to move supplies.
The drones, with a payload of up to nine pounds, may eventually transport medical isotopes used to diagnose and treat heart disease and cancer.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for innovation in health care transportation, said Martin Roos, managing director of DSV.
“We are excited to take this next step in drone logistics by partnering as the hub for deliveries to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital,” said Martin Roos. “We are proud to play an integral role in developing drone delivery routes that will benefit Halton Region’s healthcare system and patient care.”
Magirias sees significant interest in the healthcare field for drones to provide time-critical deliveries of high-value and high-risk cargo. Drone Delivery Canada envisions creating a web of flight routes to service Georgetown, Milton, and Oakville hospitals.
“We’ll need to demonstrate the benefits and value of having a drone delivery solution as a complementary delivery service. Urgent medical goods are required daily, especially when time is of the essence,” Magirias explained.
“This is where drones will showcase their agility, speed, and efficiency as a disruptive technology to help save lives, respond to urgent calls with the medical goods necessary to serve patients, as well as interconnect all three hospitals through the air with a cost-effective and emission-free solution.”