A UAV set a new delivery record for medical drones with a 161 mile flight across Arizona’s desert. The custom UAV carried several human blood samples across a military test range. Researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine created a team for the drone delivery. They also conducted a study to compare the drone delivered blood samples with blood samples from a vehicle with similar temperatures. Drone deliveries may have been doubted by critics in the past, but this medical drone accomplishment opens more possibilities for future drone deliveries in the United States.
Medical Drone Delivery Record
The medical drone flew human blood samples 3 hours straight for 161 miles! The researchers who conducted the study previously used different types of UAVs for other blood transport tests. The drone that set the record was designed to go the distance with a temperature-controlled payload. The UAV that was used in the study looks similar to a military grade Heron drone, but it’s actually a hybrid drone called HQ-40. One drone to compare this to is a concept UAV that the U.S. Army is currently developing; both drones can vertically climb like a helicopter and glide like a plane for longer distances.
Once the medical drone landed at its destination, the temperature-controlled blood samples were tested. Samples from the drone and the car were compared, and they both shared similar results. This proved that medical drones can serve as a viable delivery solution with no negative results.
The Future of Drone Deliveries
Amazon and other upcoming companies are investing in the drone delivery business, but medical drones are paving the way for delivery drones. Medical drones are just like any other delivery drone, but they are more valuable to researchers since they can fly fast past traffic while potentially saving lives.
On the other hand, possible drone crashes must be considered since transferring medical samples can also be lethal. UAVs that crash lands onto someone from the air is dangerous, especially when they’re coupled with lab samples. Medical drones must first be thoroughly tested and proven to be more beneficial rather than dangerous.
The Medical Drone and BVLOS Tech.
BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) technology was displayed successfully by the Johns Hopkins researchers. Even though companies like Amazon are working on getting approved to fly long distances over people, proven medical drones may help long distance delivery drones in the United States become a possibility. Not only can medical drones help change the rules for BVLOS flights over people, but they’re on the way to revolutionize the healthcare industry!