UPS eyes precision logistics for health-care push

UPS is banking on “precision logistics” to be a major component of its health-care push.

The Wall Street Journal reports United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) will debut “early next year” its real-time tracking service of medical packages that uses a combination of high-powered sensors that interact with Bluetooth, cellular and Wi-Fi technologies, and data analytics.

The precision logistics service, dubbed UPS Premier, aims to improve the increasingly complex health-care supply chain that often involves temperature and time-senstive items. Among the technology’s uses is to make it so personalized medicines, such as DNA and gene therapies, investigative drugs, laboratory specimens and implantable medical devices, can be quickly identified and rerouted, if need be.

“Having better visibility about where shipments are [means] when unexpected things happen, we’ll be in a better position to react,” Juan Perez, the Atlanta-based company’s chief information and engineering officer, told WSJ.

Behind-the-scenes tour of UPS’s new Atlanta Regional Super Hub

UPS is not alone in this area, as rival FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) offers a health-care focused logistics service called SenseAware, which provides near-real-time monitoring of shipment locations, as well as temperature, light exposure and barometric pressure, according to WSJ.

Atlanta Business Chronicle in October reported on UPS’ recent health-care investment binge, which includes expanding its health-care dedicated warehouse and distribution network by 1.3 million square feet and launching its new hospital network-focused drone delivery program.

Read more here.