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HELSEVEL-H-Gode og effektive helse-, omsorgs- og velferdstjenester

Research an implementation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for a fast and secure transport of biological material and blood products

Alternative title: same

Awarded: NOK 8.0 mill.

Can we drone a Complete Large-Scale University Laboratory? Our aim with this study was to investigate a model that possibly may drone a complete laboratory for the merger with another laboratory. We present a model for drone transport of the complete annual analytic volume of 6.5 million analyses (routine and emergency) between two inner-city university laboratories at Oslo University Hospital located 1.8 km apart. We had a time restriction for the analyses from sample taken from patient to final results of no more than 60 min. The total laboratory activity was analyzed per minute for the complete year of 2018. The time from the clinical ordering of tests to the loading of the drone, drone transport time, and analysis time after the sample arrived at the analyzing laboratory were assessed using the lead time of emergency analyses of C-reactive protein, troponin, and INR. The activity had characteristic diurnal patterns, with the most intensive traffic between 8 and 12 a.m. on weekdays and there being considerably less traffic for the rest of the day, at night and on weekends. Drone schedules with departures 15?60 min apart, were simulated. A maximum of 15 min between flights was required to meet the emergency demand of 60 minutes. The required drone weight capacity was < 3.5 kg at all times. In 10 000 simulations, the drone times were appropriate, whereas variations in the clinic- and laboratory-related time intervals caused violations of the allowed time 50% of the time. We concluded that drone transport with regular schedules may potentially improve the transport time compared with traditional car transport and theoretically allow the merging of large laboratories, even when the demand for emergency analyses restricts the maxi-mum transport time. Today's drones are not sufficient robust to implement such solutions, and considerable development of drone technology is needed. Furthermore, comprehensive economic evaluations based on costs versus value of time gains are necessary before such solutions can be ready for implementation.

The project will lay the foundation for an implementation of a fast, secure and reliable 24/7/365 UAV based medical transport service between the OUS hospitals. OUS cover four of the five largest hospitals in Norway, all in the capital of Norway, with a current annual patient activity of 94,000 hospitalizations, 45,000 day-care treatments and 853,000 outpatient consultations and with 24,000 employees. OUS represents a highly relevant institution for studies of both the medical, organisational, economical and technical perspectives of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) services for medical purposes. Being a national hospital offering services varying from local hospital services to transplantations and advanced national services, OUS represents a complexity that ensures a wide perspective of dissemination and applicability of the results nationally and internationally. The current mission critical transportation services between the hospitals depends on road based transport with dedicated vehicles and taxies resulting in a service that is slow, has varying capacity and with unpredictable transport time due to big city congestion. The transportation service also represents a risk due to the lack of control and status of the transports in process. This project will address the two issues highly relevant to Norway, and not being researched in other known international UAS projects, (1) weather related challenges in a congested city with high variations in weather and (2) hospital processes and health economy scenarios. The participants in the project represent the best competencies in Norway with strong international connections: Oslo University Hospital, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, The Norwegian Meteorological Institute and Sintef.

Activity:

HELSEVEL-H-Gode og effektive helse-, omsorgs- og velferdstjenester