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Air Mail Swiss post office expands hospital drone delivery system

A Swiss Post drone being tested in Bern in June 2018

A Swiss Post drone being tested in Bern in June 2018

(© KEYSTONE / PETER SCHNEIDER)

The Swiss Post is expanding its drone delivery system, transporting laboratory samples between two hospitals in Zurich. Similar pilots have been conducted in Bern and Lugano.

On Tuesday, the Swiss Post announced it is launching a one-year pilot project to use drones to send laboratory samples between the University Hospital of Zurich and the Irchel site of the University of Zurich, which are 2.5 kilometres apart. Laboratory samples will arrive at their destination twice as quickly by air as by road.

These time savings are expected to help patients, for example those under anesthesia waiting for laboratory results.  

The first official flights are expected on Thursday, with five to ten flights per day scheduled on weekdays. The project is being carried out in collaboration with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), Skyguide, which monitors Swiss airspace, and the local authorities.

A similar pilot in Lugano began in March 2017 and has conducted 2,100 flights without any problems. In Bern, a two-week trial took place in June between the main laboratory of the InselSpital University Hospital and the Tiefenau Hospital. An evaluation is currently underway.

Air mail Post office to start drone tests in Lugano

Drones will be used this month to start delivering laboratory samples between two hospitals in canton Ticino as part of tests carried out by Swiss ...

Keystone SDA/sb

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