The HealthDrone project removes main barriers in the implementation of drone-based logistics, in order to have reliable and efficient drone-based cargo- and people transportation. HealthDrone focuses on use-cases in the healthcare sector, where it can help to provide better patient treatment and reduce costs. The project operates within current legislation, as it is based on autonomous flight within airspace corridors defined by the operator and is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
The project has several different objectives, that mainly moves within the framework of establishing a well-functioning setup and analyzing needs and barriers.
In order to provide safe, reliable and efficient cargo and passenger transport with drones, the project will map and analyze needs and potential barrier - whilst focusing particularly on use cases in the healthcare sector. The project aims to establish the technological and operational setup required to provide delivery of diagnostic patient samples, medical supplies and other forms of healthcare equipment, with small drones - and, in time, transporting clinical staff, using person transportation drones.
HealthDrone builds on Commercial Off-The-Shelf drone technology and focuses on system integration, research and development. Testing the components required to overcome the specific challenges for enabling drone-based cargo and person transportation, is also a big part of the project objectives. HealthDrone provides key technological and operational components, in order to enable commercial drone flights by 2024 in specifically selected scenarios that provide immediate value in the healthcare sector.
HealthDrone plans to operate within three distinct use-cases in healthcare logistics, all of which positively impact both the quality of treatments and the patient treatment time, while reducing the cost of healthcare. The use cases will over time benefit patients, hospital staff and the healthcare system as a whole. The three specific uses cases are as depicted below.
The partners in the Healthdrone project are The University of Southern Denmark, Falck, Odense University Hospital, Unifly, Scandinavian Avionics, Innovation Fund Denmark and Autonomous Mobility. All partners contribute with their specific expertise and learnings in the project, in the beginning phases and also as it develops. The role of Autonomous Mobility, is to find the appropriate drone for the project and the implementation of the operation. With our experience from implementing autonomous vehicles in our other projects, we will contribute with invaluable learnings concerning regulatory and technical challenges that the project must work with
“The HealthDrone project is a great setup, which allows us to test drone technology, whilst providing a real improvement in healthcare logistics”.
“This is a natural next step in creating the mobility cloud that Autonomous Mobility is working towards and we are excited to be working with the great partners in this project”.
AM expects to be able to deliver small cargo in predetermined corridors in Denmark year 1. We expect to deliver vital medicine to home-visiting nurses, nursing homes and medical clinics in year 2 of the project, then move towards on-demand delivery flight from year 3. Using experience from the current implementation of autonomous vehicles in terms of the significant technical, regulatory, and legal challenges met, AM expects to launch the first test of a drone-based person transportation in year 3.
After the project
The partners foresee the creation of a joint venture as an outcome of HealthDrone. Together, the partners will form a uniquely strong consortium, and we expect that a joint venture can contribute to the Scandinavian market within drone logistics and drones-as-a-service.