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Wingcopter drones fly blood samples in Germany

Wingcopter drones recently transported blood samples 26 kilometers (16 miles) between Greifswald and Wolgast, Germany. 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 (MVLD-Challenge) project of the hospital’s Department of Anesthesiology.

The  project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalization of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, is a partnership between University Medical Center Greifswald and DRF Luftrettung. The goal of the project is to improve structures of regional emergency care by integrating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS, Unmanned Aerial Systems) into the rescue chain and into medical emergency 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 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.

“With this project, we have demonstrated that we can also improve medical care and quality of life in rural areas in Germany,” said Ansgar Kadura, co-founder and CSO of Wingcopter. “With our new unmanned aerial vehicle, the Wingcopter 198, this can be carried out even more efficiently in the future. We look forward to continued collaboration with the project team at the Department of Anesthesiology as part of the MV|LIFE|DRONE Challenge and beyond.”

The Greifswald University Medical Center seeks to establish permanent flight connections between the medical center in Greifswald and hospitals in the surrounding area as soon as possible. Drones can also be used to support first responders on site by quickly transporting medications, transfusions or emergency medical equipment such as defibrillators to the scene of an accident.

Screenshot: Wingcopter

Screenshot: Wingcopter

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