Using Drones to Deliver Lab Specimen

There could be cheaper, faster ways of delivering specimen for analysis. Geoff Baird, a clinical pathologist running Harborview Medical Center’s chemistry and toxicology labs, believes this technology would be very useful for time-sensitive medical cases.

Assistant professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Timothy Amukele and his coworkers conducted experiments to see how specimen and samples would fare during drone travel. They flew a drone around for up to 40 minutes carrying several hundred blood samples before being tested. Results were the same as the control group, which were driven to the lab.

More trials and pilot studies in clinical settings need to be conducted to work out logistics. Researchers also need to factor in the safety of drones and how drones would drop off specimen. The varying modes of drone delivery call into question safety of the drone and package to the public. At this point there is little to no data on drone crashes and the reason for crashes.

Read more at NPR.

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