The HealthDrone is taking off

On Monday 30 May, health drones flew from Odense University Hospital (OUH) in Svendborg to Aeroe for the first time. The drones are initially tested for transporting blood tests, and the transport time of 40 minutes is much faster than by car and ferry. Current blood test transports are limited by fixed routes and departures, and ferry services taking 75 minutes between Aeroe and Svendborg. Therefore, drone transport will contribute significantly to both a faster and more flexible transport solution. It ensures proper treatment for the patients faster.

And on Monday 30 May, Minister of Transport Trine Bramsen gave the go via a radio connection for the first Danish health drone to take off.

The drone is meant to fly from OUH Svendborg Hospital to Aeroe Hospital, and the first version of the drone can bring blood samples from the island community to the laboratory. In the longer term, the plan is for medicine and equipment to be transported between hospitals, laboratories, medical centres, nursing homes and home care. In line with the government’s new healthcare reform, the scheme can be extended to smaller islands or areas that are far from a hospital, thus bringing the health services to the patient.

The drones have the potential to ensure faster and better treatment, says Bjarne Dahler-Eriksen, who is Chief Medical Officer at OUH.

– It is a major focus area for us to spare patients – especially the particularly vulnerable – from spending time on transport and waiting time, so that they can instead have samples taken at home or near the home. Today we are dependent on the fixed departure times for car transport and ferry, but the health drones make it possible to get samples for analysis in a much shorter time period, so in the future we can ensure correct treatment faster for the benefit of the health service, but of course first and foremost for patients, he says.

CIMT contributes to the project with early assessment of the value of health drones. Read more about the project and CIMT’s contribution here.

Behind the project is a partnership consisting of OUH, Falck, Holo, Unifly, Scandinavian Avionics and SDU. The project is funded by the Innovation Fund.