The system is simple: the hospital's medical team places the samples that need to be tested inside the station, and the station automatically takes care of placing them on a drone. Then, the top of the onion-shaped tower opens and launches the air vehicle, which takes the samples to the nearest laboratory.
The drone launch station, developed by Matternet, allows these autonomous aerial vehicles to operate in a simple way in the circuit for sending and receiving clinical studies. For now, it will be available in hospitals and medical centers in the United States and Switzerland.
This system allows hospitals to work in an agile, fast and safe way without using ground transportation. "Our goal is to provide a fast connection between medical centers, with the fastest transport technology available to date," explained Andreas Raptopoulos, Matternet's CEO, in a statement.
The onion-shaped platform is complemented by online software that allows the identification and monitoring of samples. The three-meter-high structure allows the drone to be deployed safely on take-off and landing, with high precision.
This is an important step taken by the startup in an effort to make healthcare more efficient and reduce costs. Normally, when samples need to be delivered to a laboratory, standard practice takes between one and two hours, even if it is urgent. "With our system, we will be able to deliver them in minutes," said Raptopoulos, quoted by Fast Company.
Saving time has obvious benefits for patients, especially if someone needs immediate treatment. For this reason, Matternet's goal is to implement this system “in all cities and in all major health systems in the country”.
"We believe that medical assistance should have at its disposal the most advanced logistical methods that technology can offer", concluded the official.