In a quest to physically connect our hospitals and advance the delivery of care, Halton Healthcare along with partners DSV Air & Sea Inc. Canada, Drone Delivery Canada (DDC), McMaster University and Air Canada Cargo, have launched a pilot project aimed at clearing the path for drone deliveries of medical supplies. Dubbed Care by Air, this project is among the first of its kind in Canada and will enable the next horizon in healthcare delivery.
“Hospitals are impacted by the same challenges as many other service providers – rising fuel costs, supply chain issues and ecological considerations. However, in healthcare even the smallest disruptions can make a critical difference in patient care,” explains Hilary Rodrigues, Interim President and CEO. “The pandemic highlighted the need to optimize supply chains and establish safe, secure and reliable ways to deliver vital or urgent medical supplies. Being at the forefront of an innovative drone delivery system is the ideal way to connect our hospitals and be more responsive to the care needs of our patients, families and communities.”
Officially launched in the fall of 2022, the Care by Air project has defined flight routes from DSV’s Milton, Ontario headquarters to Halton Healthcare’s OTMH using DDC’s Sparrow drone, its DroneSpot® takeoff and landing zones and the company’s proprietary FLYTE software. The project has demonstrated the drone’s ability to transport light medical equipment, like test kits and swabs, as well as its speed, agility and efficiency compared to more traditional transportation methods. The next phase of the project will interconnect the three hospitals with a web of flight routes and seek approval from aviation regulators to transport a wider range of medical products including time sensitive isotopes as supplied by McMaster University.