Matternet has received approval from the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), Germany’s Federal Aviation Office, to operate the Matternet M2 drone delivery platform beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) in the heart of Berlin.
This marks the beginning of Berlin’s first ever BVLOS drone delivery network.
Labor Berlin, Europe’s largest hospital laboratory, provides diagnostics for 30 hospitals with more than 24,000 beds, and handles more than six million lab samples per year from satellite laboratories across Berlin in its central lab.
The drone delivery network aims to connect Labor Berlin’s central lab to affiliated hospitals for ultra-fast delivery of critical samples in the densely populated city. When fully operational, the network is expected to serve millions of patients a year. Operations will formally begin early next year following clearance on federal state level.
“Healthcare systems need a fast, reliable and cost-effective solution to transport lab samples and pharmacy items to ensure patients receive best-in-class care,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, Founder and CEO of Matternet. “We are extremely excited to partner with Labor Berlin, Europe’s largest hospital laboratory, to create the first city-wide healthcare network in the capital of Germany and bring the benefits of drone delivery to the citizens of Berlin.”
The drone delivery network will target emergency diagnostics and will increase operational efficiency as well as cut down on carbon emissions from the nearly 250,000 miles per day that cars travel within the city.
“Collaborating with Matternet enables us to enhance access to vital healthcare options through unmanned drone delivery, benefiting our patients and hospital network,” said Nina Beikert, Labor Berlin CEO. “These operations align with our dedication to innovation and sustainability as drone delivery not only accelerates emergency testing, but also enhances supply chain efficiencies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Klaus Tenning, Head of Studies and Collaborations and Project Leader for Labor Berlin, adds: “After years of preparation and pioneering work, we are excited to execute our vision for a fully operational network of drones delivering samples throughout our hospital service – to further improve patient care.”