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2SPD-020 Design and evaluation of an innovative airborne transport system for blood-derived drugs under emergency conditions
  1. D Angelini1,
  2. E Cestino1,
  3. D Cestino2,
  4. F Cattel2
  1. 1Politecnico di Torino, Ingegneria Aerospaziale, Torino, Italy
  2. 2A.O.U. ‘Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino’, Farmacia Ospedaliera, Torino, Italy


Background and Importance Blood-derived medicines are administered especially in response to traumatic events. Since their use is linked to the occurrence of accidents, their need is unpredictable. Consequently, it is difficult to apply traditional management logic of warehouses.

Aim and Objectives The present research aims to compare different strategies of transporting blood-derived drugs under emergency conditions. Specifically, current land transportation is compared to innovative Electric manned Take-Off and Landing aircrafts (EVTOL) and drones. Different aspects are analysed including safety, as well as cost-effectiveness. Furthermore, the analysis includes the identification of the best location of a possible drug distribution hub within the Piedmont region.

Material and Methods Firstly, an assessment of the safety of air overflight is conducted by constructing a risk map. Each cell contains the probability that a catastrophic failure for the vehicle will lead to a fatal impact with a person. The spatial distribution of population density is obtained from a dataset of ‘Meta’, while the presence of buildings is estimated using ‘OpenStreetMap’. Secondly, Dijkstra’s algorithm is used to determine the minimum-risk aerial trajectory; instead, for cars, ‘NetworkX’ is used.

Results An index of merit is constructed to compare transportation means. The EVTOL is the best means of transportation for making delivery between hospitals in densely populated areas, while the drone does not sufficiently meet the safety requirements. The latter is valid for joining non-densely populated areas. Finally, within the same city and for small distances land transportation is the most suitable. As for the delivery hub, it is strategic to place it in the vicinity of hospital centres where the demand for blood-derived drugs is greatest. Also, it would reduce the major risks correlated to proper medicine storage. For land delivery, it is more suitable outside Turin.

Conclusion and Relevance The study demonstrates that manned EVTOLs are the optimal way of transportation for drug delivery under emergency conditions. At the same time, the drone represents a viable solution if the areas to be flown over are not densely populated, also, they would bring reduction in costs compared to land transportation. The hub location study would represent a significant step forward in connecting hospitals and improving the logistics of drugs administered-as-needed.

Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.

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