October 18, 2022 By Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter
Care by Air is now in Halton. Halton Healthcare Services (HHS) launched the six-month initiative which will see them help develop a process to transport medical supplies using a drone delivery system.
“Being at the forefront of an innovative drone system is the ideal way to contribute to the advancement of healthcare so we can be more responsive to the care needs of our patients, families, and communities,” HHS Senior Vice President, Corporate Services, Performance & Chief Financial Officer Hilary Rodrigues said. The project is being developed in partnership with Drone Delivery Canada, McMaster University, Air Canada Cargo, and DSV Air & Sea Inc.
The idea behind the project is to compare the benefits, and values of a drone delivery system in healthcare with more traditional transportation methods. “The post-pandemic era has highlighted the need to find innovations in healthcare, enabling safe, secure and reliable ways to deliver vital or urgent medical supplies to facilitate patient care” Managing Director of DSV Martin Roos said. If successful, the project would expand to include healthcare supplies such as human tissue, medical isotopes, or blood.
Care By Air will initially use DDC drones, and proprietary software, as well as flightpaths between DSV And Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital at Dundas and Third Line. “This partnership with Halton Halton Healthcare is highly innovative and ground-breaking,” Roos added. The flights will be monitored by DDC from their Operations centre in Vaughn Ontario. The project will be expanded to connect hospitals in Georgetown, and Milton based on the pilot project’s success.
McMaster University is known for the commercialization of medical technologies. “We are excited to be collaborating with the Care by Air team to create an innovative transportation solution that will improve access to medical diagnostics and therapies for patients not only in Canada, but around the world,” McMaster University Adjunct Professor Andrea Armstrong said. The transportation of real samples and medications will begin following successful early flights with supplies and “dummy samples.”