Greifswald University Hospital Tests Drone Blood Delivery
September 20, 2021
26 kilometers (16 miles) between Greifswald and Wolgast – that is the distance over which Wingcopter drones recently transported blood samples in the Northeast German federal state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. The flights were carried out by Greifswald University Medical Center in cooperation with DRF Luftrettung and Wingcopter as part of the MV|LIFE|DRONE Challenge project of the hospital's Department of Anesthesiology. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalization of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and intends to improve structures of regional emergency care by integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the rescue chain and emergency medical transports.
The flights beyond the pilots’ visual line of sight (BVLOS) carried a
pneumatic tube including 250 grams of blood samples. The Wingcopter
completed the 26-kilometer route in an average of 18 minutes, nearly
twice as fast as ground-based transport. The use of Wingcopter drones
could thus significantly speed up emergency medical care in rural areas
and help save lives. In the event of a blood transfusion being necessary
at short notice, for example, blood samples from Wolgast District
Hospital must be transported to Greifswald University Hospital for
analysis in order to determine the appropriate donor blood.