NHS considers drone tech to deliver cancer treatments

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Under new proposals, the NHS could soon deliver blood samples and chemotherapy kits by drone.

Drawn up by Solent Transport, a partnership covering four councils across the south coast, the plans could mean more accurate results, in time sensitive situations.

According to a report from the Telegraph, transport planners are bidding for the first UK trials using the devices to carry packages between hospitals, GP surgeries and hospital labs.

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It detailed how planners said the drones could also be used to cover parts of the country which are hard to reach, but experts have explained how the scheme – which is yet to apply for ethical approval – could raise public concerns about safety and privacy.

The Telegraph went on to detail how the plans say drones could be used to transport packages between hospitals in Portsmouth and Southampton and St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight, as well as from GP surgeries to hospital labs.

Solent Transport explained that “there is scope for trialling UAV delivery of chemotherapy kits to the Isle of Wight where patients currently have to travel to Southampton General Hospital for chemotherapy treatment on a regular basis.”

It added: “The concept would involve the transport of specialised kits by drone from Southampton to recognised locations where they would be taken to the patient’s home and administered by local medical staff.”

The first trials would use dummy payloads, with trials of live samples only getting the go-ahead subject to ethical approval.

Tags : drone deliveryNHS
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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