HOT TOPIC: To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before: Drone Transportation of Laboratory Specimens and Blood Components

Please note: AABB reserves the right to make updates to this program.

Live Program Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 – On-Demand Available
Master Program Number: 105 (see program format numbers below under Registration)

Educational Track: Technical/Clinical
Topic: Transfusion Medicine
Intended Audience: Physicians, Technologists, Managers/Supervisors, Laboratory Staff, Medical Directors
Teaching Level: Intermediate

Director/Moderator: Nancy M. Dunbar, MD, Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
Speakers: Timothy K. Amukele, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Aaron A. R. Tobian, MD, PhD, Associate Director of Transfusion Medicine, Associate Professor of Pathology, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD

Learning Objectives

After participating in this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the challenges and opportunities associated with using unmanned aerial systems (drones) for transport of clinical specimens and blood components.
  • Summarize recent research examining the impact of drone transportation on the stability of biological specimens and laboratory test results.
  • Describe recent investigations into the feasibility of drone transport for blood components.

Program Description

This program will review the findings of recent studies exploring the potential for using unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to transport diagnostic clinical laboratory specimens and/or blood components. Speakers will summarize the challenges and opportunities of this transportation method and potential for use in both low- and high-resource settings. Dr. Amukele will introduce the topic with an overview the opportunities and challenges of drone transport and a summary of his recent investigations into transportation of diagnostic clinical specimens. Dr. Tobian will then discuss the unique challenges of transporting blood components using drones and review their recent investigations examining the impact of drone transport on blood components.


   Program #
Single Viewer: On-Demand Register17EL-4035-105
Group Viewing: On-Demand Register17EL-8035-105

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Timothy Amukele is an Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is also the Medical Director of the Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University laboratory in Kampala, Uganda; the Laboratory co-Investigator for the Johns Hopkins Malawi Clinical Trials Unit in Blantyre, Malawi; and the associate director for clinical pathology programs for Pathologists Overseas Inc. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Pathology. His research interests are twofold: the quality and impact of clinical laboratories in developing countries and chronic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Amukele earned his MD and PhD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He completed his residency at the University of Washington Medical Center in clinical pathology and performed a fellowship at the University of Washington Medical Center.

Dr. Aaron Tobian is an Associate Professor of Pathology, Medicine and Epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is also an Associate Medical Director of Transfusion Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Investigator with the Rakai Health Sciences Program in Uganda. His research is largely focused around understanding and reducing the risk of transfusion transmitted infections in both the United States and developing nations. Dr. Tobian completed a combined MD/PhD program at Case Western Reserve University. He completed a clinical pathology residency and transfusion medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital and subsequently joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University.