Drones can help transport blood samples for routine tests

A new proof-of-concept study at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that hobby-sized drones can transport common and routine blood tests--a finding that could help patients in rural areas of the world that lack passable roads. The drones could provide healthcare workers with quick access to lab tests needed for diagnosis and treatments, according to a report published in PLOS One. "Biological samples can be very sensitive and fragile," Timothy Amukele, M.D., Ph.D., a pathologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of a laboratory collaboration between Johns Hopkins and Uganda's Makerere University, said in a study announcement. That sensitivity makes even the pneumatic tube systems used by many hospitals, for example, unsuitable for transporting blood for certain purposes. But even sudden acceleration of drones didn't destroy blood cells or cause blood to coagulate, according to the research. Study