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Photos: For the First Time, a Drone Carried Blood Samples from a Remote Village

Remote Corners of Madagascar

A village in Madagascar.

(Image credit: Vayu Inc. and Stony Brook University)

For people living in remote villages in Madagascar's Ifanadiana district, where there are no roads, travel can be treacherous. Now, researchers have used a drone for the first time to fly a long distance to a village, land, retrieve biomedical samples, and then relaunch and return to a central health care facility. These are the images of that journey.

Full story: In a First, Drones Used to Collect Medical Samples from Rural Village

Roads in Madagascar

A road in Madagascar.

(Image credit: Vayu Inc. and Stony Brook University)

A drone can cover the distance between the region's central health facility and the far-flung villages in about an hour. In contrast, making the journey on foot may take nearly 10 hours.

Drone in Flight

A drone in flight

(Image credit: Vayu Inc. and Stony Brook University)

The project's goal was to use a drone to fly to the remote village of Ampitavanana, and either deliver medicine to the village, or pick up biological samples from the village and take them to be analyzed at a central medical center. 

Medical Workers

A medical worker in Madagascar provides help to a patient.

(Image credit: Vayu Inc. and Stony Brook University)

Health care workers in Madagascar can collect medical samples from patients. In the project, local workers collected blood samples from villagers so the samples could be transported to a central health facility by a drone.

Taking Off from Ampitavanana

A drone takes off from a remote village in Madagascar.

(Image credit: Vayu Inc. and Stony Brook University)

Once the drone was loaded up with blood samples, the vehicle took off, and headed back to the central health care facility with its cargo. 

Soaring in the Sky

A drone takes off from a remote village in Madagascar.

(Image credit: Vayu Inc. and Stony Brook University)

After taking off the village, the drone flew back to a health facility where the blood samples could be analyzed. 

Landing at the Health Care Facility

A drone lands at a central health facility in Madagascar.

(Image credit: Vayu Inc. and Stony Brook University)

Just an hour after leaving Ampitavanana, the drone landed. Making the journey by foot would have taken about nine hours longer. 

Unloading Blood Samples

A worker collects blood samples from the drone.

(Image credit: Vayu Inc. and Stony Brook University)

The blood samples were unloaded from the drone. Then, they can rapidly be analyzed.