Unmanned drones are now delivering blood to a hospital in North Carolina | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: July 16, 2024

The cargo for the first revenue-generating drone delivery in the United States wasn’t an Amazon package or 7-Eleven Slurpee — it was blood. On Tuesday, UPS launched a new service using drones to transport blood and other medical samples between the various buildings at WakeMed Raleigh’s medical campus in North Carolina — and the speed at which the drones deliver the samples could literally be the difference between life and death. The drones can carry a load of up to five pounds approximately 12 miles.

How it works is medical professionals at WakeMed’s nearby facilities load the drone’s secure container with blood samples, and the drone then follows a fixed path to the healthcare system’s main hospital and pathology lab for unloading. This trek can take drivers up to 30 minutes depending on traffic, but UPS’s unmanned drones can cut delivery time down to just three minutes and 15 seconds.

For now, UPS expects the drones to make fewer than 10 deliveries per day on the WakeMed campus, but that could increase in the future — especially if the service proves as beneficial as UPS expects.

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