Drone delivery company Matternet has launched beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone delivery operations in partnership with the major European hospital laboratory, Labor Berlin. According to a Matternet press release, the program kicked-off 17 November 2020 with permanent operations expected next year. The drone network expects to significantly improve the timeliness and efficiency of Labor Berlin’s diagnostics services by providing an option to avoid roadway delays, which will improve patient experience with potentially life-saving benefits and lower costs.
The network will connect three locations initially: Labor Berlin’s central lab on Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum, the Charité Hospital Campus Benjamin Franklin and the Corona Clinic by Vivantes – Corona-Behandlungszentrum Jafféstraße.
During the initial phase of the program, Matternet will work with Labor Berlin to determine optimal ways to integrate drone delivery into the laboratory group’s existing workflow. The partners intend to invite government and public sector representatives (subject to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions) to observe drone flights, and engage other airspace users such as Helicopter Emergency Rescue Services, Berlin police and Berlin’s Airports. Matternet will also work closely with the Air Navigation Service Provider in Germany and UTM providers to integrate the drones safely into Berlin’s airspace.
“Labor Berlin strives for best-in-class medical diagnostics, and patient care is our absolute priority. Reducing diagnostic lead times can greatly improve patient outcomes and experiences. Matternet’s drone delivery network will not only be able to transport patient samples from hospitals to Labor Berlin facilities up to 70% quicker but also reduce vehicular traffic and emissions in Berlin’s urban core. Matternet is a proven leader in the urban drone delivery space, and we are excited to collaborate to provide our patients, especially those in emergency situations, an innovative, safe and rapid alternative to lab sample transport by car,” said Nina Beikert, Managing Director of Labor Berlin.
Labor Berlin is responsible for diagnostics for 80 percent of patient beds in Berlin. Currently, over 15,000 samples are transported daily across Labor Berlin’s extensive network. With Matternet’s world-leading drone technology and Labor Berlin’s impressive scale, the drone delivery network has the potential to serve millions of patients each year, says Matternet.
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