Transportation of Donated Hearts by Drone in Comparison to Road-Bound Vehicles in Mexico City

Muhammad Al-Ayyad1, Amani Al-Ghraibah1, *, Husam Alkhatib2
1 Medical Engineering Department, Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Amman, Jordan
2 Medical Engineering Department. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

© 2019 Al-Ayyad et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Medical Engineering Department, Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Amman, Jordan;



Organ transportation between hospitals has many challenges since the harvested organ needs to be transplanted to the recipient within an optimal time frame. It is important to transfer the organ from the donor to the recipient site quickly and professionally.


The aim of this research is to investigate whether the transportation of donated hearts by drones is more efficient than transportation using road-bound vehicles.


A simulation using MatLab software was performed to calculate the heart transportation time between three different hospitals in Mexico City by road-bound vehicles and by drones. This simulation was performed to demonstrate how congestion and traffic in Mexico City prevent healthy hearts from being transplanted to patients on time. The 24-hour period was divided into four 5-hour periods and these were chosen to be: Period 1 (22:00-03:00), Period 2 (04:00-09:00), Period 3 (10:00-15:00) and Period 4 (16:00-21:00).


The time it took to travel between the hospitals by car within each of the 5-hour periods was calculated. It was observed that, in period 2, a high volume of traffic was present causing road-bound vehicles to take a longer time to deliver hearts to hospitals. All hospitals were within reach of each other if the hearts were to be transported by drone and the delivery time by drone in all cases was less than 1.88 hours, which is the optimum time for the harvested heart to be transported without risk from the donor to the recipient.


Using drones will increase the safety of transplants, reduce the heart transplantation waiting list and eventually, heart transplantation may be possible in different areas of the city at rush hour times.

Keywords: Drone, Organ transportation, Heart transplantation, Harvested heart delivery, Road-bound vehicles, Lengthen.