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Incubator/Accelerator | Alive

About Helicus

Helicus is a start-up focused on qualitative, ecological and affordable unmanned medical transport solutions with drones.

Headquarters Location

Pastoor De Conincklaan 32

Antwerp, 2610,


+32 485 685 222

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Expert Collections containing Helicus

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Helicus is included in 1 Expert Collection, including Aerospace & SpaceTech.


Aerospace & SpaceTech

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Latest Helicus News

European hospitals test drones to speed delivery of human tissue

Aug 24, 2022

A drone made test flights in Antwerp on Aug 23 to transport human tissue from one hospital to another for analysis, a first in Europe that could save valuable time during surgery. — AFP ANTWERP, Belgium: Belgian hospitals have begun testing a drone to save time delivering human tissue samples across city centres, between patients on the operating table and medical labs, a first in Europe. On Aug 23, a drone flown by a private contractor took off from an Antwerp building in the ZNA hospital group and flew 800 metres to land on the roof of the GZA group’s Sint-Augustus site. Slung underneath the quadcopter was a sterile flask containing human tissue samples to be tested for cancer cells. The first test flight was followed by four more. A drone of the Belgian Helicus company carries human tissue over an urban area between two hospital sites, from the Network Antwerp (ZNA) hospital in Antwerp, on Aug 23, 2022. — AFP The private company Helicus is the only firm in Europe to have been granted a license to use unmanned aircraft for medical purposes, over cities and with a remote pilot out of light-on-sight. The drone itself is manufactured by the Belgian firm SABCA, and Helicus hopes to have developed a commercial operation with regular flights by 2024. Testing is ongoing, but the European Union is expected to adopt new rules next year that could see medical flights permitted across the 27-member bloc. Michael Shamim, Helicus’ chief executive, told AFP that hospitals are saving costs by centralising testing labs – but then finding themselves more remote from patients. “You need a fast logistics system. And that’s where the drones come in,” he said. A drone of the Belgian Helicus company carries human tissue over an urban area between two hospital sites, from the Network Antwerp (ZNA) hopital in Antwerp, on August 23, 2022. — AFP Drones are not affected by traffic delays and road closures, so their direct routes between hospital facilities are often quicker but also more predictable. Antwerp’s two big hospital groups, ZNA and GZA, handle 1,200 tissue samples extracted during surgery per year, and these must often be analysed swiftly in order to decide the course of the operation. Currently, samples are taken to the city’s four labs by road – sometimes by taxi. “When removing a tumour, the surgeon tries to spare surrounding tissue as much as possible,” said pathologist Sabine Declercq. “But to ensure the tumour has been completely removed, samples are sent to the lab during the procedure and the results must fall within thirty minutes.” For the moment, only samples intended for analysis such as human tissue and urine are to be carried by drones, but Helicus hopes one day to carry blood transfusions and donor organs direct to patients. – AFP Article type: free

Helicus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Where is Helicus's headquarters?

    Helicus's headquarters is located at Pastoor De Conincklaan 32, Antwerp.

  • What is Helicus's latest funding round?

    Helicus's latest funding round is Incubator/Accelerator.

  • Who are the investors of Helicus?

    Investors of Helicus include The Beacon.

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