“Getting to use technology to help people extend their lives motivates us all.”: UNOS Director of IT Operations Tiwan Nicholson on hybrid cloud technology and improving the transplant system.
The technology involved in transplantation powers lifesaving decisions, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “One person donates their organs, and up to seven people’s lives are able to be changed, just by that one gift of life. To be in the middle of that, there’s nothing in the world like it,” says UNOS Director of IT Operations Tiwan Nicholson.
In an interview with The Forecast, Nicholson discusses how technology powers the UNOS mission: “We stand at the intersection of tragedy and hope, and it’s a huge responsibility and calling for us. Getting to use technology to help people extend their lives or expand their quality of life motivates us all.”
When UNOS was ready to develop a hybrid cloud IT environment to improve and enhance existing technology, they chose to partner with Nutanix, an innovative software company offering powerful enterprise cloud platform capabilities that combine storage and computing. A recent article by Nicholson, When Lives Hang in the Balance, Put Your Trust in a Hyperconverged Infrastructure, outlines how, working with Nutanix, UNOS IT has transformed to a hyperconverged environment that allows its systems to operate like a private cloud. This is crucial for an organ-matching system that is always on, at every hour of every day.
The U.S. has the highest-performing organ donation and transplant system in the world, and UNOS Chief Technology Officer Alex Tulchinsky says the decision to collaborate with Nutanix was driven by a need and desire to process even more data, more quickly—Tulchinsky calls it a “performance boost.” Tulchinsky describes the importance of making the organ matching process as seamless, efficient and effective as possible: “Technology alone is not enough but it’s a vital enabler, as lives truly depend on our system running 24/7.”