Skin And Drones: Could Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Deliver Organs To Those In Dire Need?

Technology is often at its most fascinating (and effective) in the most remote regions, be it space, the deep sea, or the far-flung areas still mostly untouched by human civilization.  We say "mostly", because people still live in these outbacks and backwoods, and those people have needs that only modern society can satisfy.  To help these folks, a whole new usage of technology can be tested...

Special delivery!  Handle all hearts with care...
(Image courtesy roboticstomorrow.com.)


According to the International Business Times, scientists in India are discussing how to use drones to deliver hearts, livers, and other organs to impoverished regions where road travel may be too slow an option.  Hearts would be the focus of the program, as other organs can be safely refrigerated for a longer amount of time with no damage to the tissue.

A human heart gets only 10 hours of viability post-harvest before it must be transplanted.  A liver lasts a little longer, at 12 to 15 hours, and a kidney can survive a full day before it must reenter a human or die.  Thanks to a surge of recent organ transplants, India has been using a "green corridor" transport system, where perpetually green-lit lanes in major cities are designated for ambulances carrying organs (and their police transports) only.


An example of India's high-speed green corridor organ delivery route.
No, it's not for rapid weed delivery.
(Image courtesy timesofindia.indiatimes.com.)

However, for patients further out in the considerable space of the subcontinent, no such luxury exists.  Thus, a plan has been hatched to use drones to ferry up to 250 grams of fresh organs out in a 100-km radius.  This could feasibly cut delivery times by up to 50 percent.

Kota Harinaryan, the father of India's indigenous fighter plane the LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) and mastermind of the project, is optimistic.  "Once the specifications from doctors and engineers are finalized — the first leg of the process is expected to be complete this week — we will take the project to the government for funding and clearance," he explained.

Well, that sure brings a whole new meaning to "you make my heart soar."

Just don't prank call the hospital and ask for a fresh liver to be
drone-delivered to the bar during your next bender.
Keep training yours to be stronger.
(Image courtesy storify.com.)

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