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NHS to trial drones for chemotherapy drug deliveries

NHS to begin trialling drones for prescription deliveries.

A three-month trial researching the benefits of using un-crewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been launched by Isle of Wight NHS Trust, and the first tests will see the drones deliver chemotherapy drugs to cancer patients from Hampshire to the Isle of Wight.

According to BBC News, the drones could help to solve logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

If the trial is successful, it's believed the trust would be the first in the world to deliver chemotherapy drugs by drone.

Maggie Oldham, chief executive of the trust, said she was "delighted" to be researching a "revolutionary way of transporting life-saving chemotherapy drugs”.

She added: "During the COVID-19 pandemic we have faced several challenges, including unprecedented supply chain and logistical demands worldwide and this led to us exploring different ways of working to ensure a safe and efficient service for our patients."

Medical drone company Apian, as well as the University of Southampton, Solent transport and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust are all involved in the research.

Research on the drones will be carried out until November to see how the impact of flight, like vibration and temperature, affects redundant medicine.

If that proves successful, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust will then approve the first flight for chemotherapy treatment, believed to be the first in the world.

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