How Medical Care Accessibility Can Improve With Help of Drones

Posted in Drone for Healthcare and Rescue Sectors on September 8, 2015

Blood samples delivered by drones

Drones appear perfect for fast and easy delivery of medical equipment and first help aid.

At least this is what latest study concluded.

And they have found that blood samples weren't substantially impacted by the procedure of flying in a drone; the findings were released in the journal PLOS ONE.

A pathologist at Johns Hopkins, Timothy Amukele, said he was interested in fostering access.

"If we finally possess a more economical solution to transfer samples, it is a great thing, especially for patients that are difficult to reach, if they live in rural areas or locations without good roads" he said.

Using drones for medical purposes is not new in fact.

Before this month, medication carried to a rural southwest Virginia practice in the first Federal Aviation Administration-approved medication delivery.

However, the launching and landing of a drone machine could potentially impacts blood samples negatively. The drone must be thrown in the air, plus it lands on its bottom side so there is some risk that samples could be destroyed (or even lost depending on weather and other circumstances).

Amukele said he believed that at minimum, delicate platelets could be impacted in some way but it was hard to judge how big the impact could be.

Timothy Amukele

Timothy Amukele

In this study, 336 blood samples were taken by researchers at Johns Hopkins from 56 healthy adult patients that drove to flight site an hour far from the hospital.

The samples were packed up as half of them were loaded and if they belonged to contagious patients -sized 21 samples at a time.

The samples remained from six to 38 minutes in the air and flew on a mile loop. Then, the samples all were driven back to the laboratory, where they experienced 33 of the most frequent evaluations.

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