Darling Downs Health taking flight in 2023

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Executive Director Infrastructure at Darling Downs Health Dr Paul Clayton with Australian Operations Manager for Swoop Aero Daniel Scandar

Executive Director Infrastructure at Darling Downs Health Dr Paul Clayton with Australian Operations Manager for Swoop Aero Daniel Scandar

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Darling Downs Health has welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government that Swoop Aero has been successful in their Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships (ETAP) program, which will see remotely piloted drones traversing the health service.

In conjunction with Swoop Aero, Darling Downs Health will facilitate a trial drone program that will see dispatch hubs launched within the health service, delivering essential supplies, test samples and pharmaceuticals between facilities.

Executive Director Infrastructure at Darling Downs Health, Dr Paul Clayton, said the trial would allow the health service to evaluate the capability of this technology.

“We’re continually searching for ways to enhance our capability as a health service, and we’ll be looking to see if this trial improves the outcomes for patients and our community.

“We’ll be considering the time it takes to plan a tasking of the drone, the dispatch and retrieval of goods and of course how that all integrates into an already efficient service.

“What is really exciting about this trial is it is just the beginning of integrating new AI technologies which have the potential to transform how we work and provide care.” Dr Clayton said.

The trial will utilise Swoop Aero’s latest and most advanced aircraft, the Kite™, which can travel at maximum speeds of up to 200km/h with 4.7 kgs of payload and would be dispatched from multiple hub locations across the Darling Downs Health Service to deliver goods to surrounding hospital and multipurpose facilities.

CEO and Co-Founder of Swoop Aero, Eric Peck added that the EATP program will enable Swoop Aero to exponentially scale the integrated drone logistics network, which is already proven to yield immediate benefits to the healthcare system through its ability to deliver medical supplies in a timely manner.

“We have sustained integrated drone logistics operations for more than five years across a number of countries globally and achieved more than 22,000 operational flights to date. Funding from the Australian Federal Government will accelerate the value we can add back to Australian society, across industries including medical transport, search and rescue, agriculture and government."

“The large-scale trial, set to commence in the first half of 2023, will present life-changing opportunities to patients and communities. Swoop Aero has already successfully deployed this technology across 14 countries and four continents, delivering over 1.2 million items.” Mr Peck said.

The trial comes after a successful series of demonstrations in Goondiwindi this year which Darling Downs Health staff attended.

Darling Downs Health is committed to remaining at the forefront of healthcare provision and continues to identify emerging technologies and providers that can improve patient outcomes.