A four-week trial of drone technology for medical courier services was recently completed by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) with EMED Group, a healthcare and specialist transport and logistics provider.
The trial reportedly saw more than 400 pathology samples transported between two ESNEFT sites, which logistics provider EMED Group said highlighted how recurring drone operations can advance conventional medical courier services.
The group is one of the largest healthcare logistic providers to the NHS and was supported in this trial by Skyports Drone Services.
Project partners have now completed a proof-of-concept project, which intended to show the innovation and sustainability benefits of using drones in medical courier services.
Craig Smith, group CEO of EMED Group, explains more, “This project is an important milestone highlighting innovative practices in the medical courier space. As a healthcare business, we are driven by our mission to improve the wellbeing of the communities we serve.
“This initiative is a great example of this. Not only does it provide tangible environmental benefits, but it also ensures that vital pathology samples and medical supplies are quickly and effectively transported between points of care with no risk to delays we often experience on the road network.”
Shelley Garrey, service lead, support services at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, added: “This is a really exciting step in looking at new technologies to help deliver healthcare faster.
“Using drones mean patients will receive their results quicker while saving time and resources. This is an exciting pilot project and we hope we can look to expand in the future.”