‘Uber For Organs’ Drone Delivers Kidney To Patient

‘Uber For Organs’ Drone Delivers Kidney To Patient

Moving human organs designated for transplantation is an incredibly time-sensitive task, as they only remain usable or operable for a short amount of time.

Now, Business Insider reports a custom-made drone has delivered a kidney to a transplant patient in an apparent world first.

It was only a short test flight- less than 3 miles in total. The team that created the drone at the University of Maryland says it was a worldwide first and a critical step in its quest to speed up the delicate and time-sensitive task of delivering donated organs.

The patient named Trina Glispy is a 44-year old nursing assistant from Baltimore, Maryland, and spent the last eight years on dialysis.

Dr. Joseph Scalea led the project, and hailed the delivery as a triumph–describing it as “Uber for organs”.

The drone was not just any old garden-variety delivery vehicle, either.

It was able to monitor and maintain vital criteria like the kidney’s temperature in real-time. It was also fitted with backup propellers, dual batteries, and a parachute to protect its precious payload.

The team’s leader, Dr. Joseph R. Scalea, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, revealed he chased the project after continued frustration over organs taking too long to reach his patients. When removed from a donor, organs become less healthy with each passing second.