Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport

13.09.2017

Medical samples transported 160+ miles by unmanned aircraft in Arizona desert

Johns Hopkins researchers have set a new delivery distance record for medical drones, successfully transporting human blood samples across 161 miles of Arizona desert. Throughout the three-hour flight, they report, the on-board payload system maintained temperature control, ensuring the samples were viable for laboratory analysis after landing.


Temperature-controlled specimen transport container designed by Johns Hopkins researchers is packed with blood sample test tubes.

Credit: Johns Hopkins Medicine

In a report of the findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology on Sept. 6, the investigators say the achievement adds to evidence that unmanned aircraft can be an effective, safe and timely way to quickly transport medical samples from remote sites to laboratories.

"We expect that in many cases, drone transport will be the quickest, safest and most efficient option to deliver some biological samples to a laboratory from rural or urban settings," says Timothy Amukele, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the paper's senior author.

"Drones can operate where there are no roads, and overcome conditions that disable wheeled vehicles, traffic and other logistical inefficiencies that are the enemy of improved, timely patient diagnoses and care," Amukele says. "Drones are likely to be the 21st century's best medical sample delivery system." Building on previous work by Amukele's team, the investigators collected pairs of 84 blood samples at the University of Arizona in Tucson, then drove them 76 miles to an airfield.

One sample from each pair was loaded onto a commercially available drone, which flew them 161 miles. The flight took off and landed at the same airfield, on a drone test range. The samples flown by drone were contained in a temperature-controlled chamber designed by the Johns Hopkins team. The other sample of each pair was held in a car at the airfield with active cooling to maintain target temperature. The average temperature of the flown samples was 24.8°C (76.6°F) compared with 27.3°C (81.1°F) for the samples not flown.

Among other precautions, the test was conducted away from populated areas in restricted airspace at an unpopulated military test range that was cleared of other air traffic. The aircraft was under the control of a certified remote pilot, using a radio link between the drone's onboard flight computer and the ground control station. Samples were packed and transported according to International Air Transport Association guidelines. The aircraft used in the study was a Latitude Engineering HQ-40.

Following the flight, all samples were transported 62 miles by car to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. All samples were tested for 17 of the 19 most common chemistry and hematology tests. Flown and not-flown paired samples showed similar results for red blood cell, white blood cell and platelet counts and sodium levels, among other results. Statistically significant but small differences were seen in glucose and potassium levels, which also show variation in standard transport methods (e.g. automobile transport). These differences were due to chemical degradation from slightly warmer temperature in the not-flown samples.

The Johns Hopkins team previously studied the impact of drone transportation on the chemical, hematological and microbial makeup of drone-flown blood samples over distances up to 20 miles, and found that none were negatively affected. The team plans further and larger studies in the U.S. and overseas.

"Getting diagnostic results far more quickly under difficult conditions will almost certainly improve care and save more lives," Amukele says.

###

Other authors on this study include Jeff Street of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Christine LH Snozek and James Hernandez of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona; and Ryan G. Wyatt, Matthew Douglas and Richard Amini of the University of Arizona.

Funding for this study was provided by Peter Kovler of the Blum-Kovler Foundation.

Media Contact

Chanapa Tantibanchachai
chanapa@jhmi.edu
410-502-9433

 @HopkinsMedicine

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org 

Chanapa Tantibanchachai | EurekAlert!

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht From parking garage to smart multi-purpose garage
19.07.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

Im Focus: Support Free with “TwoCure” – Innovation in Resin-Based 3D Printing

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and Rapid Shape GmbH are working together to further develop resin-based 3D printing. The new “TwoCure” process requires no support structures and is significantly more efficient and productive than conventional 3D printing techniques for plastic components. Experts from Fraunhofer ILT will be presenting the state-funded joint development that makes use of the interaction of light and cold in forming the components at formnext 2017 from November 14 to 17 in Frankfurt am Main.

Much like stereolithography, one of the best-known processes for printing 3D plastic components works using photolithographic light exposure that causes liquid...

Im Focus: Researchers develop chip-scale optical abacus

A team of researchers led by Prof. Wolfram Pernice from the Institute of Physics at Münster University has developed a miniature abacus on a microchip which calculates using light signals. With it they are paving the way to the development of new types of computer in which, as in the human brain, the computing and storage functions are combined in one element.

Researchers at the universities of Münster, Exeter and Oxford have developed a miniature “abacus” which can be used for calculating with light signals. With it...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Need entangled atoms? Get 'Em FAST! with NIST's new patent-pending method

08.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components

08.11.2017 | Information Technology

Tracking down the origins of gold

08.11.2017 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>