18 October 2022
Unilabs bets on innovation and sustainability to transport its medical samples
Geneva, 18 October 2022: Unilabs, a leading diagnostic services provider, is partnering with Swiss drone manufacturer RigiTech in Geneva to shorten the time it takes to transport its medical samples.
With a capacity of up to 150 tubes, this innovative and sustainable new way of transportation cuts travel times between Coppet and Geneva labs by more than 90 minutes during rush hour.
“At Unilabs, we are always exploring new ways of further improving our service. The drone flies at 120 km/h, crossing the lake in less than ten minutes while driving from our lab in Coppet to the opposite lake bank can take up to two hours for a road distance of fewer than 20 kilometres,” said Alessandre Keller, Unilabs Switzerland General Manager. “Higher quality and speed in delivering results are at the heart of this project. It is a testimony of our innovative DNA and commitment to the highest quality and sustainability standards. The drone allows us to reduce our net carbon footprint and fine particles emission by more than 95% and contribute to ease Geneva’s traffic.”
Pioneers in long-range Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone delivery routes in Europe
The route is one of the first long-range Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) in Switzerland, and requires impeccable coordination with Skyguide and Genève Airport to obtain clearance before the flights.
“Both RigiTech’s proprietary software, RigiCloud, and Eiger drone hardware have proven once again to be reliable and compliant with BVLOS SORA regulations,” said Adam Klaptocz, co-founder and CEO at RigiTech. “Partnering with Unilabs and being able to fly in Switzerland, our home country, is also especially significant. It marks our fifth European country with BVLOS authorisations and fourth for the Eiger.”
This regulatory milestone was several months in the making, as the approval and collaboration from Genève Police, the Cologny Municipality, the Compagnie Générale de Navigation (CGN), OCAN, and the SwissFederal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) were gathered.
Unilabs and RigiTech will continue to work towards developing innovative logistics – establishing dependable routes that can see multiple flights per day and expanding to new routes reliably connecting more laboratories.
Unilabs is one of Europe’s leading diagnostics companies, offering a complete range of laboratory, pathology, and imaging services to patients across four continents. A leading digital champion covering the full diagnostic spectrum, Unilabs’ +14,200 people save lives every day. Unilabs invests heavily in technology, equipment, and people – using digital technologies in its state-of-the-art laboratories and imaging institutes to improve the lives of close to 100 million people every year.
RigiTech is a Swiss aerial logistics company founded in 2018 that focuses on creating fully integrated drone delivery solutions. Its drones are designed with a network-first mentality, the key to scaling drone delivery into a sustainable business model. The centralised RigiCloud software infrastructure ensures reliable, compliant communications, flight tracking and fleet maintenance management. RigiTech has secured BVLOS authorisations in Switzerland, Italy, France, Denmark, and the Czech Republic, with a focus on healthcare and in-vitro diagnostics markets.