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Need a new organ? Perhaps a drone will deliver one for you..

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Most of us already know about the common things we deliver with drones, such as parcels or food but in the past year, UAVs are playing an increasingly important role in medicine. In Rwanda, long-distance drones frequently deliver medical supplies to remote hospitals. UAV deliveries for vital supplies make a lot of sense in developing countries where roads are often in poor condition or highly congested. A trial of these same medical drones was even being considered earlier this year in the United States.

What’s next for this project?

In order to make organ deliveries a reality that would actually help people, there are a number of big challenges that will need to be overcome.

At present, drone just don’t have the range of other delivery vehicles to make them practical for live organ transport. They would need to be much faster and be capable of travelling ranges of 300-500 miles (480-800 kms).

The regulatory side of things will take a while to sort out but some of those behind this trial such as Dr Joseph Scalea of the University of Maryland Medical Center believes this is just the initial step among a series that “will get patients closer to their life-saving organs quicker, and with better outcomes.”

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