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Medicine Transportation

Drones Could Soon Be Used To Deliver Medical Supplies in North Carolina ( 32

Drones could soon be ferrying blood and other medical supplies to hospitals and clinics in North Carolina if the N.C. Department of Transportation's bid to be part of a federal test program is approved. From a report: NCDOT is leading a team of private companies that proposes to set up a network of distribution centers that would use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to make medical deliveries in North Carolina. The drone delivery companies, including Matternet and Zipline, operate overseas but not in the U.S. "We're really excited that drone technology may allow doctors and hospitals to save more lives in North Carolina soon," Bobby Walston, the state Director of Aviation, said in a statement. "We've been researching and investing in drone technology for years at NCDOT. This proposal represents the next big step for us as we remain a national leader in the UAS field." The North Carolina proposal is one of about 210 applications to the Federal Aviation Administration's Drone Integration Pilot Program, a three-year effort launched by the Trump administration last fall to test drones for various purposes to help determine how to safely expand the use of commercial drones in the U.S.
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Drones Could Soon Be Used To Deliver Medical Supplies in North Carolina

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  • pays well for a driving job, local runs (natch). Looks like they're first on the chopping block. Sucks, for most of them it means going back to being a part running (the original 'gig' economy since most parts shops use "contractors" so they can pay effectively less than minimum wage).
    • Time is of the essence in medical delivery. If flying it gets it there faster than driving it in traffic, then this is a big win for the patient -- and that's more important than the wages of the delivery driver!
  • The drone delivery companies, including Matternet and Zipline,

    Now I have visions of wires from the distribution center to every house and they just slide the drugs down. (Think how green that would be!)

    Might as well just do pneumatic tubes again...

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @02:59PM (#56078035)
    I usually insist that drone delivery is a bad idea because there is no way of insuring the item is delivered to it's intended recipient. However, if you're delivering to an existing helipad on top of a hospital, it sounds pretty safe. (The other way to effectively "sign" for packages would be to require the phone the item was ordered with to be within bluetooth range of the delivery; with adequate encryption technology, that might work. The current "just leave it on the doorstep" delivery method seems insane to me.)
    • The current "just leave it on the doorstep []" delivery method is already insane.

    • ... The current "just leave it on the doorstep" delivery method seems insane to me.)

      That's true in a lot of places. But where I live now (VA Mtns) all the packages are left in the doorstep and I have never heard of anyone loosing anything.

      Of course, it's a small town, people know their neighbors, and most people own guns. And some people are retired and are home during the day, to watch out for trouble. And, the citizens consider the police to be friends and allies...

  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @03:00PM (#56078047) Homepage Journal
    I could soon be visiting Mars. I could soon be dating a supermodel. I could soon join the NBA.
  • So, moonshine and meth?

    • Eh, if it's making deliveries to hospital personnel, it's more likely to be cigarettes and booze.

  • by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @04:02PM (#56078391)

    ... but I thought they still had a functioning road system.

  • This is actually a very good idea and an excellent use of drones. As roads become more and more clogged, it can be difficult to get medical supplies to a hospital in emergent situations. It goes without saying that flying delivery drones will alleviate this problem. This might also work really well in situations where organs need to be transported. Often organs for transport are first flown to the nearest airport and then placed in a car or van for the "last mile" transport. Imagine if a drone stands ready
  • So, let's see; places like Illinois, Nebraska and Colorado don't need this service, but North Carolina does. What's different there? Poor roads? Few medical facilities? Impoverished population? All the above?

    Why not address those problems first? Oh, the cost! So just fly the drones in and ignore the real problems.

  • Maybe they should look at expanding their Medicaid program to cover more people before buying new toys.

"For the man who has everything... Penicillin." -- F. Borquin