Medical delivery drones take off in Switzerland

The Swiss Post has partnered with drone manufacturer Matternet to transport lab samples via BVLOS flights between two Bern hospitals.

SwissPost drone flying above Bern.
After Lugano, medical delivery drones will now fly in the capital city of Bern. ©Swiss Post

As of this summer, unmanned aerial vehicles will transport time-sensitive laboratory samples and urgently needed medications between the Tiefenau hospital and the Insel University Hospital in Bern. The use of drones will make transport faster and more efficient, saving doctors and patients crucial time compared to couriers on the road. “When lab samples need to be transported as quickly as possible from A to B, every minute counts. This is why this pilot project is so visionary”, said Uwe E. Jocham, Insel Gruppe CEO, in a press release. Insel Gruppe is Switzerland’s leading medical care system, treating around 500,000 patients from more than 120 countries every year.

In March 2017, the Swiss Post became one of the first companies in the world to operate delivery drones to transport lab samples between two hospitals in Lugano, in conjunction with drone maker Matternet. The results were very positive : the drone completed over 1,000 flights without incident. With this new pilot project in Bern, and plans to launch one in Zurich in the near future, the Swiss Post consolidates its leadership role in drone logistics.

Pioneering role in drone traffic management

Switzerland plays a pioneering role in the integration of drones into the airspace. Earlier this year, Swiss air navigation service provider skyguide announced a partnership with AirMap to develop and deploy the first national drone traffic management system in Europe.

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