Like pizzas, drones set to deliver human organs soon
by Ritesh Ranjan, @royret;
In an age when pizzas, that universal soul food, is being delivered in record time by using drones, then why can’t we use the same technology to deliver something that is even more closer to the soul?
A human organ, perhaps?
Do we always have to depend on Green Corridors – a stretch of land in a city where the roadway is cleared of all vehicular traffic to ensure speedy transportation – whenever the city needs organ transplants from one location to another?
Nowadays, when it comes to delivery of a body organ in emergency situations, the current scenario is very pathetic.
But all that is about to change.
Fortis Malar hospital’s cardiac science director, Dr. K. R. Balakrishanan said that he and his team are working on a system that ensures speedy organ movement from one place to another through drones.
“In India, everyday, people die from accidents, due to non – availability of organ transplants or organs not reaching the concerned person in time. There is still is no proper standard medical transportation infrastructure in our country. Also, we lack the international medical standards to ensure that a patient is indeed being safely moved from one point to another, let alone an organ”.
He says it is not always possible to create a Green Corridor on Indian Roads at all times.
“Nowadays when a pizza gets delivered by a drone, then why can’t we just use the same logic for a medical emergency?, he asks.
Dr K.R. Balakrishnan says that though he and his team have conducted a few tests in that direction, a lot more work needs to be done.
“The main thrust of our research is in the design of the drone and the preserving box. The drone should be able to carry the weight of the preserving box, because most of the time, the organ is preserved with the help of ice which adds to the weight. Also, the box needs to be properly sealed so that the organ is sent percent safe from external pollutants”.
Dr Balakrishnan is extremly hopeful that he and his team can perfect the technique by the year end.
We should be able to use this service within the city limits with the help and coordination of the relevant hospitals and authorities, and by using map charts based on the real time drone location to ensure pin -point accuracy in determining the destination, he said.
On being asked about air ambulances that is quite common abroad, he said not only do they cost more but also there is no proper infrastructure in place for them.
“In such a scenario it is prudent for both the government and private players to colloborate and provide cheap air ambulance facility, just like the 108 Ambulance Services that is currently in place now”.
Dr. K. R. Balakrishanan said that he and his team at Fortis Malar hospital have so far done more than 54 successful heart transplants and reaching the 1000 level mark or above is not impossible if such facilities are available.