Earlier this week the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) and the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS), showcased an air drone that will be used to transport blood from the blood banks in the province to hospitals in remote areas.
According to IT News Africa, the drone is called the TRON Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), functions like a helicopter, and is capable of vertically taking off and landing. Once in flight it switches into a highly efficient aircraft, according to its designers.
“Our concept is globally unique in that we will provide a two-way logistics, patients can receive emergency O negative blood from one of our blood banks via drone. The same drone can then take that patient’s blood samples to the blood bank for comprehensive cross-matching and then safely and rapidly deliver compatible blood back to the patient,” said CEO of SANBS, Dr Jonathan Louw.
IT News Africa adds that the WCBS said the initiative is commendable and that it will be instrumental in saving lives.
“We celebrate a milestone. Our main aim as a blood service in the Western Cape is to save people’s lives by providing sufficient, safe blood. Drones will assist us to provide blood timeously to where it is needed,” added WCBS CEO, Dr Greg Bellairs.
“We believe that this is an innovative step in the history of blood transfusion. SANBS is determined to improve rapid access to life saving blood products in rural areas through the use of technology,” concluded Louw.