Company collaborations seek ways to support US coronavirus response with drones

DroneUp8.15.19

DroneUp recently partnered with UPS and subsidiary UPS Flight Forward with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology and Workhorse Group in tests designed to determine how UAS can assist medical professionals in their fight to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

The companies explained that as healthcare practitioners nationwide and around the world race to contain the virus and save lives, time is of the essence.

Experts in the healthcare industry and in government are calling for technology solutions that can speed the pace of testing and treatment for infected patients.

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They also express concern for healthcare providers on the front lines who interact with potentially infected patients on a daily basis. Technology leaders see autonomous drones as a potentially valuable solution.

Commenting on how UAS could be used, Virginia governor, Ralph Northam, said: “I am encouraged to see so many private sector partners stepping up and thinking innovatively as we work together to combat COVID-19.

“Drones can be an important way to deliver medical supplies while people stay home to adhere to our social distancing guidelines. Virginia is well-positioned to be a leader in the unmanned system industry, and we are pleased to be part of this initiative.”

The tests in Virginia evaluated the commercial drone industry’s ability to provide and scale small unmanned aerial systems to support various use cases to speed and assist the U.S. healthcare system during the novel Coronavirus crisis.

Scott Price, UPS’ chief strategy and transformation office, said: “We’ve proven through ongoing commercial drone delivery programs that effective drone delivery of medical products is faster than conventional ground-based transportation.”

Adding: “Drones offer a low-touch option for delivery of lab specimens and medical products that could make a significant impact in an urgent response application.”

Data collected during this fast-paced simulation will be used to determine how private-sector drone operators can effectively supplement emergency response and certain patient care.

The findings and recommendations will be included in a report to the White House, where leaders are considering what role the nascent industry could play in the Coronavirus response.

Tags : DroneUp
Alex Douglas

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