She said of the unusual delivery method: "This whole thing is awesome".
Prior to this landmark organ delivery flight, the Maryland partners worked together to develop and test the UAS by first successfully transporting saline, blood tubes, and other materials, and then by transporting a healthy, but nonviable, human kidney.
It's an exciting development in the use of drones to support emergency services and medical deliveries and demonstrates how, in future, organ delivery by drone could be faster, safer, and just as reliable as traditional transport methods.More news: Ashton Kutcher Expected To Testify Against Serial Killer Who Murdered His Ex
This was a collaboration between transplant physicians and researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) in Baltimore; aviation and engineering experts at the University of Maryland (UMD); the University of Maryland Medical Centre; and collaborators at the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland (LLF). "It's ultimately not about the technology; it's about enhancing human life".
The medical drone flew a total of 2.7 miles, reaching its destination in 10 minutes. The effort included a number of technological firsts, including a specially designed high-tech apparatus for maintaining and monitoring a viable human organ and a custom-built unmanned aircraft system.
The three-mile journey required a lot of new technology, including a custom-made drone capable of carrying the additional weight of an organ, which also needed on-board cameras and organ tracking, and communications and safety systems for a flight over an urban, densely-populated area.
Doctor Joseph Scalea, who was among the team of surgeons that performed the transplantation, hailed the project's success and said drone deliveries could help overcome delays that destroy an organ's viability. Redundancies were built into the overall system to ensure that the organ was protected even if some aspect failed mid-flight; these include backup batteries, backup rotors, and, for a worst case scenario, an emergency parachute.More news: Sonic The Hedgehog fans hope Jim Carrey’s Dr Robotnik can save film
"As astonishing as this breakthrough is from a purely engineering point of view, there's a larger goal at stake".
With a drone that can travel great distance quickly and safely, more of these patients can gain access to potentially life-saving organs.
In 2018, about 1.5 percent of deceased donor organ shipments did not reach their destination, while nearly 4 percent of organ shipments were delayed for two or more hours, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
We hope that this new method of organ donation soon becomes more common, helping all those in need. "It is critical that we find ways of doing this better".More news: Alton could see near record-level river crest