Donor Alliance Joins Matador Uncrewed Aerial System to Revolutionize and Expedite Lifesaving Organ & Tissue Transport
Partnership to maximize organ & tissue viability using drones in region’s rural communities
DENVER – November 1, 2023 – Donor Alliance, the nonprofit organization saving and healing lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Colorado and most of Wyoming, has joined the Matador Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) Consortium. The partnership, which includes other Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs), explores the possibility of leveraging advanced drone technology to quickly transport lifesaving organs across long distances between rural hospitals and hospitals where transplants occur. Currently, OPOs leverage both commercial and private ground and air transportation services for safe delivery of donated organs and tissue.
“Nearly 1,500 people in Colorado and Wyoming are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant,” said Jennifer Prinz, President, and CEO of Donor Alliance. “In our mission to save and heal lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation, Donor Alliance is committed to exploring innovation that can help us honor donors’ gifts in rural communities and save and heal recipients in a safe and timely manner.”
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and 2THEDGE founded the Matador UAS Consortium with the goal of improving organ and tissue allocation and increasing healthcare access for rural communities through UAS. Research has shown that UAS is seven times faster and functions at 1/10 of the cost of traditional ground-based methods of transportation, while enhancing efficiency of organ transportation and decreasing wait times between organ recovery and transplant.
“The Consortium is dedicated to advancing the frontiers of drone transportation by using pipeline, electrical transmission and railroad corridors for the UAS flights,” said Tyson Harmon, Founder and Chief of Tech Recon at 2THEDGE. “Through the support of both academic and industry experts, we are working to accelerate research and development to ensure we have the critical infrastructure needed to help these communities.”
Donated blood and medical supplies are already part of UAS demos currently underway. The initiative is working in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to build a corridor to ensure airspace for drone travel, which will be another tool used by OPOs to transport lifesaving organs and other timely medical needs.
Last year, 278 donors in Colorado and Wyoming saved more than 700 lives through organ donation and nearly 2,000 tissue donors in the region were able to save and heal more than 143,000 people.
About Donor Alliance
Donor Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and healing lives through organ and tissue donation for transplantation in Colorado and most of Wyoming. As a federally designated organ procurement organization – one of 56 in the U.S. – Donor Alliance serves more than 6.3 million residents and 117 hospitals. Donor Alliance walks alongside the family during the organ recovery process and ensures their loved one’s gifts are safely received at transplant centers in a timely manner. In addition, the organization maintains partnerships with hospitals, educates residents on the life-saving benefits of donation, and manages the donor registries in the region, Donate Life Colorado and Donate Life Wyoming, which are symbols of the cause. For more information, please visit DonorAlliance.org.
About Matador UAS Consortium
The Matador UAS Consortium’s focus centers on strengthening communities, improving patient outcomes, and creating opportunities to help overcome inequities across rural America through advanced UAS and autonomous transportation solutions.