Award recognizes projects that “have a long-term impact,” will serve as “an inspiration for future innovation”
The RVA Technology Council has awarded UNOS for innovation in the public sector for its development of the UNOS Travel App. The team, led by Michael Ghaffari, senior director of IT development and Casey Humphries, logistics service line leader, was recognized at the 2023 RVA Tech Awards, on Thursday, September 28.
According to the RVA Tech Award website, this award goes to “a public agency, or organization benefiting the public good, whose creative use of existing or development of new technology enhances processes, methodologies and/or services for their own or others’ benefit.”
“We are honored to receive this award from the RVA Technology Council,” Humphries said. “Our work on the Travel App, and our efforts on every project and collaboration, have the same goal in mind: to use existing and emerging technologies to improve the national system and help save more lives. While we are proud of the Travel App, we are never satisfied with the status quo, and remain committed to pursuing innovative solutions to complex health care problems.”
The UNOS Travel App was developed to meet the stated needs of members of the nation’s organ donation and transplantation community who were looking for a quicker, more efficient way to coordinate the transportation of donor organs. The tool aggregates flight schedules, driving time and critical logistics data like cargo hours, all in real time.
The app has the ability to comb through different commercial flights and can filter out options that will not work for a particular organ offer. Additionally, its estimates for total travel time account for many aspects of an organ’s journey, including drive time between airports and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) or hospitals, changing time zones, and more, saving time and getting donor organs to patients in need even faster.
Taken together, this crucial data provides OPOs and other professionals with an easily accessible, comprehensive and actionable look at an organ’s travel options and projected travel time. The Travel App was made possible in part by a grant from S.L. Gimbel Foundation, a component fund at The Inland Empire Community Foundation.
Improving the safe and efficient transportation of donor organs is a central part of the UNOS Action Agenda, which was released in February of 2023 and outlines a series of reforms aimed at driving improvements across the organ donation and transplantation system to better serve patients.