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Will Cryonics Ever Be Affordable for Everyone?

Find out what Tomorrow Bio is doing to get to the day when anyone can choose to be cryopreserved.

Although cryonics organizations are doing their best to lower costs, cryopreservation is still not affordable for some people. Of course, if you decide to sign up while you’re young, you can reduce the price considerably by taking out a term life insurance. A person in their twenties in good health could pay a total of 45€ per month (25€ of membership fee and 20€ of insurance fee). Basically, they’d pay the price of one dinner for two per month. 

The problem arises when the person is a bit older, or when they have a medical condition that increases the price of insurance and, in some cases, even makes them uninsurable. Not many people have 200,000€ in their pocket. At Tomorrow we believe that everyone should be able to choose to be cryopreserved, if they want to. If a person wants a chance at a future life, they should be able to take it, no matter their economic situation.

What are we doing to solve this problem? Find out here.

Why Does It Cost 200.000Є?

Cryopreserving someone isn’t an easy task. First, you need to have trained SST teams on call 24/7. In fact, one of the members could die at any time of the day or night, and the team must be ready to respond and reach the location as quickly as possible. In addition, teams must be provided with all the necessary equipment (often customized in the lab by our engineers). Given the ongoing research, equipment will need to be constantly updated to ensure up-to-date quality. The teams themselves will need to be continuously trained on new techniques in cryopreservation, open-heart surgery, perfusion, and more.

Keeping these points in mind, we are talking about a certain amount of money. In addition, one must calculate what happens upon the legal death of a member. If the member dies after pre-existing conditions have worsened, one of the teams will be dispatched as early as possible and remain on site on standby. This could take hours or even days so arrangements will have to be made for the team. The travel itself will also have its costs, which usually increase in the case of sudden death when the team must use whatever means to allow them to get there quickly. If the member in question is on vacation on a remote island somewhere in Asia, there may be a need for a private medical jet.

Once the member is reached, the team will then be able to begin the cryoprotection procedure by cooling down and perfusing the body fluids with cryoprotective agents (CPAs). At this point, the patient can be transported to the long-term storage facility. The expense of the trip back will depend again on the location. Here they will be cooled for several days and placed in a custom-made cryogenic storage dewar.

If you think things have ended here, you’ve forgotten one important detail. Long-term storage is almost as challenging as cryopreservation itself. In fact, patients must remain cryopreserved for an unlimited period of time. What if they have to remain preserved for 500 years? What if in those 500 years there are wars and natural disasters caused by climate change? What if a new storage facility must be built and bodies need to be moved? Cryonics companies must evaluate all these possibilities in order to provide the safest possible service.

So yes, cryopreserving someone is relatively expensive. The question is: will it ever become accessible for everyone?

What Can We Do to Lower the Costs?

Now the question arises: what can cryonics organizations and people interested in this service do to lower its price? The key to this is the growth of the cryonics community

On this point we are quite certain. As interest in cyopreservation is increasing, due in part to continued technological and scientific progress, it’s likely that the community will grow in the coming years. We expect costs to come down considerably. Our CEO and founder Dr. Emil Kendziorra predicts in this video that we could reach 10.000Є per cryopreservation in a few decades. This could be a definitely cheaper price than what it is today.

Graph of economy of scale for the cryonics industry
Economy of scale will lower the costs per cryopreservation

But how exactly does growth help reduce costs? The growth in demand will help us achieve an economy of scale. Essentially, the total prices of, for example, training a SST team or refilling the dewars with liquid nitrogen won’t really change. What will decrease is the price per capita! Let’s see a few points:

  • When few people choose to be cryopreserved, medical SST teams aren’t fully utilized. You need to have one trained team for both 10 to 50 members. The cost, however, will change as it gets spread over more people.
  • At the moment, cryoprotective agents are produced in small quantities. More members would allow higher amounts of CPAs to be produced and lower prices per unit.
  • Storage facilities aren’t currently built at scale. It gets complicated to invest upfront when it may take several years before we will need to handle large volumes of patients.
  • Slightly more liquid nitrogen is used to refill a dewar with one person than a full one with four people. Although the expense in itself is low, we are talking about probably hundreds of years of refilling.

Conclusion

To the question of whether the price of human cryopreservation will come down in the future, we believe that it will. We don't know how long this will take but we are doing our best now to ensure that it will happen quickly. If you are interested in cryonics, you can help us by signing up and talking about it with people around you.

Who knows, one day cryopreservation may become a service offered by public health. It will no longer be a possibility but a certainty for everybody. This option may still be a long way off, but with the combined efforts of every member of the cryonics community, we could make it happen.

In case you want some more information before joining us, schedule a call with a member of our team. Cryonics is our favorite subject!

Tomorrow Bio is the worlds fastest growing human cryopreservation provider. Our all inclusive cryopreservation plans start at just 45€ per month. Learn more here.