LifeGift, the organ procurement organization (OPO) that serves north, west and southeast Texas, is collaborating with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to improve the way organs are transported in the United States. In circumstances where a transplant surgeon is unable to recover the organs for his/her patient, the organ is recovered by another surgeon then packaged and transported to the transplant center. The transportation can range from being driven across a city to being flown across the country. The UNOS Organ Tracking Service utilizes GEGO Internet of Things (IoT) technology and is integrated into the systems that the nation’s 57 OPOs already use to package and label organs for transport and that hospitals use to manage organ offers. It enables transported organs to be tracked via GPS technology, ensuring the organ is safely accounted for at every stage of transport.
As a beta test participant for UNOS’ Organ Tracking Service, LifeGift provided crucial feedback and improvement suggestions while using the service to monitor precious organs from donors in the area and ensure they arrive safely to transplant hospitals. “We are excited to have been a part of the beta test for this important project,” said R. Patrick Wood, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at LifeGift. “LifeGift is a national leader in innovative practices designed to increase transplantation, and this initiative supports these efforts by focusing on the safety and accountability of organs in transport.”
“We built this service around the needs of the organ procurement organizations who are responsible for transporting organs recovered in their service area,” said UNOS Labs Program Manager Casey Humphries. “The fact that OPOs influenced the workflow of this service is what sets it apart. It was developed and continues to evolve around what works best for them.”
UNOS is now offering the service for all OPOs after more than a year of developing, testing and improving the service based on the direct engagement, influence and feedback from 16 OPOs who participated in a nationwide pilot program.
As the mission-driven non-profit organization that works with the organ donation and transplantation community to save lives through transplantation, UNOS is solely focused on making more lifesaving transplants available, safely and equitably, to patients in need. “Providing organ procurement and transplant professionals tools that enable them to work more efficiently and save more lives is at the core of what we do,” said Humphries.