Johns Hopkins University researchers managed to deliver refrigerated blood on a three-hour drone flight across the Arizona desert. According to, it’s believed to be the longest medical delivery by drone ever completed.

Crucially, the blood made it to its destination in a usable state, thanks to an onboard temperature-control system.

The record-breaking flight was more than a lark. It confirms the potential for using unmanned drones to deliver medical specimens from places where land and conventional air transport would be difficult or impossible.

“We expect that in many cases, drone transport will be the quickest, safest and most efficient option to deliver some biological samples to a laboratory from rural or urban settings,” Hopkins prof Timothy Amukele told