A patient has undergone a successful kidney transplant in the USA after the organ was transported for the first time via drone.
The University of Maryland Medical Center tried the world first in the hope that the delivery method would offer minimal risk to the organ, as more traditional means, such as automobiles and planes, offer less smooth journeys.
Flight time for the organ was 9 minutes and 52 seconds, with the kidney arriving in perfect condition for the transplant.
The recipient Trina Glispy had undergone eight years of dialysis but was discharged on April 23, four days after the successful operation.
Dr. Joseph Scalea, from the University of Maryland Medical Center, who led the project said: “I’ve been in situations where I couldn’t even do the transplant.
“It was impossible because of the amount of time that was going to accumulate between recovery and implant that we couldn’t even do the transplant.
“And I just would get frustrated and say how in 2018 or 2019 can we allow that to happen. I know we have better technologies.”
It is hoped after the success of the first operation that this could become the status quo, potentially orchestrated via a smartphone app.
Dr Scalea added:”My vision is that you will seamlessly be able to from your own smartphone accept your organ and have that data transferred seamlessly to an unmanned aircraft provider who will move that organ from point A to Point B anywhere in the United States. That’s my vision for the future.”