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Letting Samples Fly

Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine and Deloitte are looking into whether drones can be used to quickly deliver samples to the lab for testing.

In a press release, Deloitte notes that unmanned aircraft systems could enable genomic testing samples to be delivered more quickly by avoiding traffic delays on the ground. "This UAS project is an innovation to speed transport and delivery of samples to their lab," Josh Nelson from Deloitte Consulting said in a statement.

Deloitte says the use of drones could also help bring the price of genomic testing down as it would become more widely available as other hospitals could use the services of established testing centers and that it could expand the geographic reach of genomic, and potentially other, testing.

"This technology opens many possibilities for providing faster diagnosis for a variety of needs. Coupling rapid sequencing tests with rapid sample transport will speed the time to precise treatment and reduce the period of uncertainty both for providers and the parents of our patients," Stephen Kingsmore, the president and CEO of RCIGM, adds in the press release.

Deloitte and RCIGM are working with the Federal Aviation Administration to test and determine the safety of the approach.