Japanese test flight conducts first island drone delivery of medical organs

ANA Holdings, Goto City, Soraya, and National University Corporation Nagasaki University conducted the first demonstration of a medical drone delivery – carrying test rat organs – in Japan on 5 March 2022. Organ transportation needs to be safe, quick, and arrive in good condition. Drone are expected to be used as a means to achieve this for remote islands. This demonstration experiment was carried out in accordance with the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals under the planning and compilation by Nagasaki University Graduate School of Transplantation and Gastroenterological Surgery.

Role of each company

  • ANAHD: Remote operation, management and education of drones. Construction of delivery management system including delivery notification, this demonstration summary
  • Soraya Company: Coordination and support of related parties, coordination of local residents, local governments, ports, and fishing ports.
  • Goto City: Coordination with the area to be verified and related parties.
  • Nagasaki University Graduate School of Transplantation and Gastroenterological Surgery: Formulation and compilation of a demonstration experiment plan for organ transport, and various verifications of its usefulness.

ANAHD has obtained approval to fly the drone out of sight based on the “Guidelines for Examining Permits and Approval for Flight of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (Hankuun No. 29676)

Through this demonstration, drone transportation enabled consistent temperature control, quality maintenance, and smooth transportation, compared with existing ship transportation methods. It confirmed the safety and usefulness of organ transportation by drone.

(Image: Flight section: Fukue Port, Goto City, Nagasaki Prefecture-near Kuga Clinic)

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