MediDrone​ Project


Improving Distribution, Reducing Transmission, Saving Lives

COVID-19 has left many vulnerable people, such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, under strict lockdown, and at significant risk if they become infected. Some types of medication are time critical and so getting this to those patients in time is extremely important to prevent fatalities. Human to human contact through the supply chain also creates a significant risk to these individuals as it creates opportunity for transmission. Reducing human involvement in these delivery chains, and making them faster and more robust is therefore critical during this crisis

COVID-19 testing is best served by hub and spoke models where patients are tested locally at mobile labs and GP surgeries with samples being taken to centralised testing facilities. A recent research paper by Linköping University provides evidence that drones are the most effective way of delivering these test samples.

Estimates were made that for a medium-size city with around 100,000 inhabitants, and 36 drones each carrying 100 tests would be sufficient to visit everyone once every 4 days and that regular mass-testing of individuals even just every 30 days — which roughly amounts to randomly testing around 3.3 per cent of the population every day — ‘would flatten any curve quite significantly.’

The MediDrone solution comprises a shuttle delivery service using small drones for light weight medical supplies between hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies. Medical practitioners can send small items such as time critical medicines and tests between locations quickly, easily and without human to human contact

The service is a game changer for medical centres as it provides an almost instantaneous means to transport small time-critical supplies between locations without direct human involvement. It solves some of the big challenges the UK faces in terms of moving medical care closer to the patient, reducing the need for vulnerable people to travel large distances, and eliminating the need for them to visit locations where risk of infection is high

Drone Station

The stations comprise of Herotech8’s drone-in-a-box with mechanical shutter and recharging station which automatically recharges the drone when not in use. Each station is equipped with a weather station and remote pilot access from a laptop using encryption technology to keep the assets safe and secure

The stations are configurable with a range of small lightweight drones including:

  • DJI Mavic 2

  • DJI M200

  • Parrot Anafi

Flexibility in the platform allows the system to be configurable to a range of different use cases and payload capacities. Herotech8’s patented precision landing algorithm ensures that no matter what the weather conditions are, the drone will automatically land back in its box, ready for its next mission

Barriers to Success
Barriers To Success

Mission planning allows for the detailed creation of airspace corridors and no-fly zones in order to mitigate ground risks and ensure that the aircraft never flies over areas where lots of people may be situated

The drone is controlled remotely over a secure internet connection and the flight is controlled by a range of simple intuitive button controls on a touch screen display.  A range of emergency protocols and safety systems ensure that no-one is put at risk

Managing Air Risks

There are two layers of protection from air risks during flight:

User Notification System

The MediDrone user notification system makes the service simple, intuitive and hassle free for the user:
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