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UPS has begun utilizing Matternet drones to provide COVID-19 vaccines to a hospital in North Carolina.
Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist healthcare center is believed to be the initially to acquire COVID-19 vaccine deliveries by drones in the nation.
This new initiative – operated by UPS and its subsidiary, UPS Flight Forward– expands Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s current drone system that was launched in July 2020. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 50% of vaccines are wasted globally just about every year, largely due to temperature handle failure, mentioned Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos, in a statement.
When transporting the COVID-19 vaccines, the Matternet M2 drone is outfitted with a particular cargo box that consists of Cold Chain Technologies’ customized PCM Gel resolution, a temperature-sensitive packaging mixture that maintains the COVID-19 vaccine at 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees to 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
It also utilizes a temperature-monitoring device that monitors the vaccine’s temperature even though in transit. The customized cold-chain packaging follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggestions on the handling, storage, and transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine, the organizations mentioned.
The UPS Flight Forward-operated drone, which flies autonomously and produces zero operational emissions, has the capability to provide any of the COVID-19 vaccines from Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to one of the wellness system’s family medicine practices positioned at Piedmont Plaza.
To date, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist has offered almost one hundred,000 total COVID-19 vaccinations to its personnel, patients, and members of the neighborhood. The healthcare center has currently tested a number of flights for the deliveries.
The autonomous flight is overseen by UPS Flight Forward’s specially educated operators who are stationed onsite to inspect the Matternet M2 aircraft prior to takeoff and scan the airspace for air site visitors.