Last month, MissionGO, a provider of unmanned aviation solutions transforming logistics, used a UAV to successfully transport a human kidney and tissue across the Nevada desert to prove it could be the future of organ transport.
Together with the Nevada Donor Network, an organ procurement organization (OPO) serving the state of Nevada, MissionGO performed two test flights: one transporting research corneas from Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center to Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican, San Martín Campus; and another delivering a research kidney from an airport to a location outside of a small town in the Las Vegas desert.
“The quickness and the on-time delivery of that organ are very important to you, they're very important to the surgeon, and they're very important to the surgical team,” said Scott Plank, CEO at MissionGO and MediGO. “In these cases now, you have hospital B’s doctors procuring the organ under the instruction of hospital A, and then the logistics moves the organ without the surgeon or the hospital team.”
In Las Vegas, most donated organs are shipped to recipients in other states due to limited transplant programs available locally. MissionGO’s second flight test reduces the time between organ donation and transplantation as well as the carbon footprint by using electric aircraft, and potentially expands organ procurement efficiency, saving more lives. The Nevada aviation research is the beginning of a series of medical and aviation research flights with OPOs in other regions. What would be a 15 to 20 minutes’ drive, can be a 4 minutes’ flight with MissioGO’s solution, while reducing the number of handoffs when transporting human organs directly between hospitals through the air.
“These flights are an exciting step forward – the research conducted during last week’s test flights are another data point to illustrate that unmanned aircraft are a reliable mode of transportation for life-saving cargo, and that MissionGO’s UAS are safe for both the payload and people on the ground – even at greater distances,” said Anthony Pucciarella, MissionGO President. “We are grateful to be testing our technology with our partners at the Nevada Donor Network and look forward to what we can achieve together with more research like this.”
Later this year and throughout 2021, MissionGO will run additional flight tests with more organ procurement organizations across the country.