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Johns Hopkins Testing Drones To Assist With Providing Health Care

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Researchers at Johns Hopkins hospital think they’ve found a way to link drones with medical care. Alex Demetrick reports, it’s cool in more ways than one.

Last spring, a team led by a Johns Hopkins Hospital researcher delivered a small package containing a blood sample to a raft off Cape May.

“We had to figure out a way to keep things cool but keep them light. I thought it went great,” said Dr. Timothy Amukele.

For Amukele it only gets better. Flying drones well south of the Bay Bridge from the western shore to the eastern shore, samples were kept cool and intact. Keeping them viable for the lab diagnosis needed to prescribe medication, which could be carried back to a patient by drone.
The study is geared to a critical goal:

“Specifically looking at supporting health care in the setting of a disaster. One of the things that kills people is a lack of logistic support to just get them the supplies they need,” said Amukele.

The Hopkins study is one of a number of drone experiments. The best known is Amazon’s.

“We started a new private trial for customers in the Cambridge area of England, and on December 7 we completed out first delivery.”

Other organizations are also testing the delivery of medicine and even blood supplies to remote areas in Africa. Advances one delivery at a time.

The Hopkins researcher spent 18 months developing a refrigeration unit that can fly on a drone.

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