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Trans­port of sup­plies between hos­pit­als by drone?

11.12.2020, Re­search :

A new feasibility study at HNU is investigating the use of drone-driven material transport between three hospitals in the Neu-Ulm district.

Logistics pose major organisational and financial challenges for hospitals in rural areas. As part of his master's thesis in the Health Information Management degree programme, Marcel Stitz, M.Sc., conducted a feasibility study on drone-driven material transport between three hospitals using the Donauklinik in Neu-Ulm, the Stiftungsklinik Weißenhorn, and the Illertalklinik in Illertissen as an exemplary case.

According to the study, however, the economic and legal feasibility of drone-driven material transport between the three hospitals turns out difficult: federalism, complex legislation, and low transport capacities currently prevent a reasonable use of the technology for material transport between the three member hospitals of the district hospital foundation (Kreisspitalstiftung) in the scenario examined.

The work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Walter Swoboda and Felix Holl at the DigiHealth Institute and the results were published last November in the journal Gesundheitsökonomie & Qualitätsmanagement (Health Economics & Quality Management) (opens in a new window).


Stitz, M. S. A., Swoboda, W., & Holl, F. (2020) Konzeptentwicklung zum Materialtransport per Drohne zwischen den drei Kreisspitalstiftungskliniken im Kreis Neu-Ulm [Development of a concept for the supply transportation with drones between the hospitals in the Neu-Ulm district]. Health Economics & Quality Management, Thieme, 6 p., doi: 10.1055/a-1277-6787 

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Potential drone routes connecting three hospitals in Bavaria's neu-Ulm district (modified after Stitz et al., 2020).