Grant-funded initiatives improve organ transportation and logistics

Grant-funded initiatives improve organ transportation and logistics

UNOS Labs partners with Fresenius Medical Care Foundation to help make the system more efficient

Grant-funded work helps facilitate improvements in organ transportation, providing peace of mind to OPOs, transplant hospitals, patients and donor families.

An experimental incubator for the donation and transplant system, UNOS Labs brings together data, technology and industry expertise to deliver insights and improvements. Through UNOS Labs, the transplant community can test products, tools and methods and see if a potentially transformational idea will work or if a hypothesis for a system improvement is true.

Over the last several years, UNOS Labs has been exploring avenues to improve organ transportation and logistics, thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts-based Fresenius Medical Care Foundation. Their support, along with participation and input from OPOs, transplant hospitals and others, have led to important findings and sparked further study.

The Fresenius Medical Care Foundation-funded initiatives include:

  • Piloting a tracking technology to keep OPOs and transplant hospitals aware as organs travel to their destinations
  • Piloting an Expedia-like travel app to reduce organ travel time
  • Studying cold ischemic time (CIT) to better understand opportunities for reducing it

The results of these efforts include:

  • The development of the new UNOS Organ Tracking Service that allows OPOs and transplant hospitals to track organs using GEGO global tracking devices and integrate it with TransNetSM and UNetSM
  • A field test of a new UNOS travel app, which connects driving time, flight time, and other factors to provide the landscape of travel options available to move an organ across the country and predict their final ETA at the receiving transplant hospital
  • The exploration of OPO transit-related data by UNOS data scientists to better understand the components of cold ischemic time

In the coming months, UNOS will continue to make enhancements to the Organ Tracking Service as more OPOs and transplant programs use the integrated service, learn from the travel app pilot, and evaluate the contributing factors to CIT.


Saving lives together

Learn more about technology innovations, behavioral research and data science projects underway through UNOS Labs.

If you would like to help save lives and support efforts to improve the transplant system, please visit unos.org/give or contact Lindsey Jennings, senior philanthropy officer at Lindsey.Jennings@unos.org or (804) 782-4676.

The Fresenius Medical Care Foundation was founded in 2018 to help the patients, families, and communities most impacted by kidney disease. Today, the foundation focuses on raising awareness of kidney disease and transplantation as a lifesaving solution.

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