Danish health drones are taking off: Towards faster and better treatment
3oth of May 2022
30th of May 2022
On 30 May, Danish health drones will fly for the first time from Odense University Hospital (OUH) in Svendborg to the island of Ærø. The drones can carry blood and medicine, and the transport time of 40 minutes is much faster than by car and ferry. It ensures proper treatment for the patients faster.
Today, if you live on one of Denmark's smaller islands and have a blood sample taken, the sample must be transported by ferry and car for analysis at the hospital's laboratory. In future, the distance will be shorter, because now the way has been paved for the blood sample to be sent by drone directly and immediately to the laboratory.
This will become the reality from Monday 30 May, when Danish Minister of Transport, Trine Bramsen, is standing by in Svendborg to send the first Danish health drone off via a radio connection.
After years of planning and testing, the partnership behind the health drones is ready to demonstrate the first flights across the water. A route of 50 kilometers, taking place at an altitude of 80 meters.
Read the press release Danish HealthDrones are taking off here
Drone ready for test flights between departments at Odense University Hospital
26th of August, 2020, Holo
The HealthDrone Project is gearing up at Odense University Hospital (OUH) where Holo demonstrates the drone today. The local Odense based supplier Lorenz Technology provides the drone for this part of the project.
A drone of the type DJI Matrice 210 is on a new mission in Funen’s airspace. A mission with potential to improve delivery of blood samples and medication radically. When the permission for test flights are in place, the load will be over-the-counter painkillers, but later the project is going to transport more expensive medication and samples between departments of the hospital.
“We are now ready to move the HealthDrone project from the test grounds in HCA Airport to Odense University Hospital and try out internal transportation of medication and samples. This marks an exciting new phase of the project where we start realizing the ambitions of HealthDrone,” says Mathias Vinter from Holo who is in charge of drone operations.
While testing in the airport, a prototype drone was used – developed specifically for the project by partners from SDU. But for the flights at OUH, Holo has leased a drone type from Lorenz Technology which has been widely used in the market for e.g. video shooting.
“Leasing the drone from Lorenz gives us a drone that is known to be reliable along with the benefit of Lorenz’ expertise and support in physical proximity,” explains Mathias Vinter from Holo.
Autonomous drone flights in U-space
The drone will be flying autonomously between OUH departments, but all missions follow a pre-programmed route from A to B. While flying, there will be a safety pilot on the ground to surveil the drone and make sure that the flight tests progress safely and according to the plan.
The project in OUH is an important stepping stone on the way to teaching drones how to navigate around and assist emergency helicopters as a U-space functionality.
“Imagine the improvements in delivery of e.g. expensive cancer medication that is tailor made for the individual patient and needs express delivery, or blood samples for quick analysis and diagnostics. Health care can be improved massively with drone technology, and this is the first step,” says Mathias Vinter.
The HealthDrone project receives funding from the Innovation Fund.
Holo: Anne Rosa Simonsen, Director, Communications and Marketing, +4520633133, email@example.com
10th of March 2020, University of Southern Denmark
After several months of training in the “playpen” in the UAS Denmark test center at the HCA Airport, the drones from the HealthDrone-project will now fly further into airspace.
A partnership consisting of SDU, OUH, Falck Holo, Unifly and Scandanavian Avionics has joined forces in the HealthDrone project, which aims to develop drones that can transport blood tests and medicine between Ærø, Svendborg, and Odense.
An important milestone has now been reached: The partnership has been authorized to undertake the first routine BVLOS-flights, and now test flights have begun. BVLOS stands for “Beyond Visual Line of Sight” and refers to flights where drones fly so far away that it no longer can be seen by the pilot.
For three years, blood samples and medical equipment will be flown with drones between Odense, Svendborg and Ærø. Later, drones will also transport highly specialized healthcare professionals who need to arrive quickly. This will ensure better treatment and save the Danish health care system for almost DKK 200 million a year.