Blood Samples Delivered by Drones9 months, 3 weeks ago
Posted on Sep 29, 2017, 11 a.m.
On Sept. 6, 2017 The American Journal of Clinical Pathology announced that Johns Hopkins researchers set a new record for medical drone delivery. The drone successfully transported human blood samples over 161 miles in the Arizona desert, in a temperature controlled device during a three-hour flight.
On Sept. 6, 2017 The American Journal of Clinical Pathology announced that Johns Hopkins researchers set a new record for medical drone delivery. The drone successfully transported human blood samples over 161 miles in the Arizona desert, in a temperature controlled device during a three-hour flight. The successful transport allowed for viable for laboratory analysis after landing. Afterward, the researchers noted that this clearly demonstrates that unmanned aircraft can be a safe, effective, and timely way to transport medical samples from remote sites to laboratories.
The paper's senior author Dr. Timothy Amukele, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine stated: "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."
"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."
In this case the researchers obtained pairs of 84 blood samples from the University of Arizona in Tucson, then drove them 76 miles to an airfield where they were loaded on a commercial drone (a Latitude Engineering HQ-40) from a military drone airfield. 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. One sample from each pair was loaded into the container; the other samples were held in a temperature controlled car at the originating airfield. Samples were packed and transported according to International Air Transport Association guidelines. The drone traveled 161 miles using a special container designed by the John Hopkins team, created to maintain a steady safe temperature for the blood samples which can be ruined if overheated. 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. After delivery, the drone returned to its original airfield. Researchers pointed out that the test was conducted in restricted airspace at an unpopulated military test range that was cleared of other air traffic and away from populated areas.
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 all blood tests except that glucose and potassium levels of the car transported samples were slightly degraded to the flown samples. This was attributed to the higher ambient temperatures in the car vs. the drone transport which maintained a lower and more stable temperature.
Dr. Amukele says, "Getting diagnostic results far more quickly under difficult conditions will almost certainly improve care and save more lives."
Dr. Michael J. Koch, Editor for www.WorldHealth.net and Dr. Ronald Klatz, DO, MD President of the A4M which has 28,000 Physician Members, and has trained over 150,000 physicians, health professionals and scientists around the world in the new specialty of Anti-Aging Medicine. A4M physicians are now providing advanced preventative medical care for over 10’s of Million individuals worldwide who now recognize that aging is no longer inevitable.
Journal Reference: provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine: Timothy K Amukele, James Hernandez, Christine LH Snozek, Ryan G Wyatt, Matthew Douglas, Richard Amini, Jeff Street. Drone Transport of Chemistry and Hematology Samples Over Long Distances. American Journal of Clinical Pathology, 2017; DOI: 10.1093/ajcp/aqx090 <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170912093108.htm>.