Wing plans to deliver medical goods to Dublin hospitals

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Wing, a drone delivery company and subsidiary of US-based conglomerate Alphabet announces plans to carry medical supplies and devices to hospitals, RTE reported.

The firm has partnered with Apian, a UK-based healthcare and logistics company, that connects healthcare providers with drone operators and services.

The two firms are teaming up with Blackrock Health and St Vincent's Private Hospital in Dublin along with healthcare technology company, Medtronic to launch a drone delivery trial designed to demonstrate how drones could be used in healthcare logistics.

The delivery service will commence with items including a Medtronic ingestible camera, sutures, surgical tools and heart valve repair products, with plans to expand to pacemakers and Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (ICDs) in the future.

The first deliveries will be received in Dublin’s Blackrock Health, Blackrock Clinic and St Vincent’s Private Hospital in the coming days.

Wing said that its drones can make quicker, more reliable deliveries compared to the road vehicles that hospitals currently rely on for their medical supplies.

The pilot will start with up to 100 weekly flights and those behind the project said they are working closely with the Irish Aviation Authority to ensure the operations adhere to the regulator's standards.

"Wing is pleased to support a healthcare technology and two hospitals to meet their needs for a more efficient delivery service for essential technology," said Nicole Schone, Head of Marketing and Communications at Wing.

Kristian Howells, Group Commercial Director at Medtronic, said: "Traditional supply chains have limitations that the inclusion of drones may help to overcome. What we learn from this pilot programme will help us to create more resilient supply chains that are patient focused," Mr Howells said.

St Vincent's Private Hospital CEO Brian Fitzgerald said the trial would allow it to explore how integrating drone technology into its hospital can improve patient care, enhance supply chain management and enable it to operate more efficiently and sustainably.

In 2022, Wing began conducting delivery trials in Lusk in Dublin which included community engagement and drone delivery demonstrations.