Using Drones in Rural Areas to Overcome Patient Inequities

The three organ procurement organizations’ proposed use of this ground-breaking UAS technology aims to improve transport of donated organs and tissues in rural areas to better serve patients. Courtesy Image

Mega Doctor News

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA) the non-profit serving 56 counties in Central and South Texas, LifeGift in Houston, Texas, and LifeShare in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, have joined forces with the Matador Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) Consortium, co -developed by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) and 2THEDGE, LLC., to conduct uncrewed aerial transport (UAS) testing the ability to successfully move organs and blood between Lubbock, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio. The test took place on Tuesday, November 15thwith the UAS flight originating at Lubbock’s Texas Tech University Reese Technology Center proceeding a distance of 350 miles to Oklahoma City and then traveling 471 miles to San Antonio.

Courtesy Video

This is the first time that donated organs were transported this far a distance by an aerial system that was operated using robotic technology. The Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA) transported a donated human liver, kidney, and pancreas between the three cities. Although there was a pilot on board per FAA regulations, the plane was flown entirely by technology onboard. The organs were donated for clinical research and were not transplanted following the flight demonstration.

The three organ procurement organizations’ proposed use of this ground-breaking UAS technology aims to improve transport of donated organs and tissues in rural areas to better serve patients.

Receiving the Life Saving Cargo. Courtesy Image

TOSA, LifeGift, and LifeShare’s shared objectives include:

“Uncrewed Aerial System transportation is a technological breakthrough that could improve organ recovery, allocation, and transportation to ensure patients, especially in rural areas of South Texas, receive the precious Gift of Life,” said Joseph Nespral, President and CEO of Texas Organ Sharing Alliance. “Our partnership with LifeGift, LifeShare, and the Matador UAS Consortium aligns with our mission and core values ​​to use research and innovation to drive performance improvements in the donation system and save more lives through organ transplantation.”

About TOSA

Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA), founded in 1975, is one of 56 federally designated organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. TOSA is committed to a mission of saving lives through the power of organ donation by providing organ donation and recovery services to Central and South Texans wishing to donate, and to those waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. For more information, visit TOSA1.org.

About LifeGift

LifeGift is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) health services organization. As the organ procurement organization (OPO) for North, Southeast and West Texas, we partner with more than 200 hospitals across 109 counties to save and heal lives. LifeGift is a founding member of Donate Life Texas, the organization that manages the organ, eye, and tissue donor registry. For more information, please visit www.LifeGift.org.

About LifeShare

LifeShare is a nonprofit organ procurement organization (OPO) dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissue for transplant purposes. We are committed to caring for the families that are touched by donation. LifeShare team members are a wonderful group of caring professionals who regardless of their role contribute to our core purpose of saving of lives. For more information, visit Lifeshareoklahoma.org.