World’s First Medical Drone Network to Connect 40 Droneports Across an Entire City

Matternet will operate the world's first city-wide medical drone network, in Abu Dhabi 7 photos
Photo: Matternet
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Until we are actually able to commute via air taxis, unmanned cargo delivery seems to be taking off. Passenger transportation requires complex testing and regulations, but drone delivery has been much easier to start implementing. One of the latest developments towards advanced air mobility is the first city-wide medical drone network in the world.
There’s no other sector that could benefit more from drone delivery than the medical one. By establishing a complex, reliable network of this kind in urban environments, time-critical supplies can be delivered safely, while diagnostic and pathological samples can arrive much faster at their destination, saving precious time for patients and medical staff.

Matternet, a company specializing in commercial Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drones and the first one in the U.S. to start transporting a vaccine by drone, has joined forces with SkyGo, a logistics company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to develop the first city-wide medical drone network in the world.

No less than 40 droneports will be installed in Abu Dhabi, in the first year of operation. The medical drones developed by Matternet, under SkyGo's license for BVLOS drone delivery, will be used to carry urgent, high-value medical materials, such as vaccines, blood and lab samples.

By connecting facilities all across the city’s healthcare system, with 24/7 operation, the turnaround time for diagnostics will become much faster.

The two companies have recently conducted a real-time demonstration of the service at the Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH) headquarters, in the presence of government officials. A demo flight carrying a PCR test was successfully performed, controlled through Matternet’s Terminal and Mission Control apps.

This groundbreaking medical drone network project is set to launch commercial operations in the first quarter of 2022, after all tests have been completed. This will not only serve the medical field, but will also help cut CO2 emissions and improve traffic, by taking some of the delivery vehicles off the road.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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