Development of Medical Drone for Blood Product Delivery: A Technical Assessment
Keywords:Medical Drone, Blood Products, Blood Transportation, Hexacopter, Payload
Drone is the well-known technology in military and amateur application. Recently, the drone was used to deliver goods and parcels. There is an increasing need for urgent delivery of medical supplies in low resource setting due to traffic congestion and terrain obstacles. The delivery of blood in emergency cases such as postpartum hemorrhaging is challenging and can be delayed due to geographical condition in underserved area. Postpartum hemorrhaging needs an immediate blood transfusion with proper blood product to save the life of mother and baby. To address to this need, a drone that can deliver blood supply to the desired location may be a good option. Therefore, research has been conducted to identify the baseline of drone specifications for blood delivery. A Hexacopter with the ArduPilot firmware and a Lithium-Polymer battery of 16,000 mAh were used to study the applicability of blood products delivery using drone. Using several tests to assess drone limitations, experimental data was obtained and analyzed using distinctive methods. The results indicated that the thrust-to-weight ratio of the drone play a paramount role for the drone performance and flight time. The GPS guidance performance showed a reliable and stable flight with only a slight deviation of ±6 meters during the tests. Finally, a test flight was conducted to simulate the actual test location from Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Hospital Wanita dan Kanak-Kanak, Likas, Sabah. The developed drone reached a flight time of 25 minutes covering 8.38 km with 4.3 kg take-off weight.
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