Drones for Organ Transplants: MissionGO and AlarisPro Transport First Human Pancreas via UAV
Game changing technology for a critical mission in healthcare: drones for organ transplants are proving their worth. "MissionGO, a leader in unmanned aircraft solutions that is transforming logistics; LifeSource, the organ procurement organization (OPO) serving the upper Midwest; and Mercy Hospital, part of the Allina Health system, today announced the first-ever test flight carrying a human pancreas via an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) conducted on May 5," says a press release.

"Following a moment of silence led by Lead Pilot Ryan Henderson to honor the donor hero, this historic flight transported a research pancreas from Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, flew a 10-mile circuit over the Mississippi River, then returned to Mercy Hospital. This flight successfully demonstrated the viability, value, efficiency gains and delivery speed of lifesaving organs via UAS within the Twin Cities metro area."

Organ transportation is both critical and complex, requiring multiple partners to cover all aspects of the mission. For this operation, the pancreas was monitored for the duration of the flight "using MediGO's hardware and software platform to provide the real-time location status of the organ to all critical stakeholders," says the press release. In addition, LifeSource performed a biopsy on the pancreas before and after the flight "to study the impact of UAS transportation on a human organ, revealing no changes in pre and post flight biopsies." Beyond the complexities involved in transporting organs, operators require flight telemetry: "MissionGO's aircraft was monitored with AlarisPro's new flight data recorder known as the AlarisAIR (Automated Independent Recorder) which provides flight telemetry data through both cellular and Bluetooth networks."

"LifeSource has set an audacious goal of transplanting 1,000 organs in one year by 2027; last year, we facilitated 603 transplants," said Susan Gunderson, LifeSource Founder & CEO. "Organ transplant is a race against time; this is one of many transformative solutions to help us save more lives."

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