Precious Cargo: GPS Tracked Packages for Organ Donation07/1/2021
Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) has collaborated with United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to improve the way we transport organs by using GPS tracked packages.
“The loss of a donated organ is very rare. Less than 0.1% of donated organs experience transportation issues resulting in its loss,” says PJ Geraghty, vice president of DNA Clinical Services. “Still, we know even one lost organ could potentially mean a patient in need won’t get a transplant in time to save their life.”
As a pilot participant, DNA provided feedback and improvement suggestions while using the service to monitor precious organs from Arizona donors to ensure they arrived safely to transplant hospitals.
“We built this service around the needs of the organ procurement organizations (OPOs),” says Casey Humphries, UNOS Labs program manager. “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.”
New Technology for More Lifesaving transplants
UNOS is now offering the service for all 57 organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the U.S. Sixteen OPOs participated in the pilot program. The UNOS Organ Tracking Service utilizes GEGO Internet of Things (IoT) technology and is integrated into the systems the nation’s OPOs already use to package and label organs for transport to organ transplant.
DNA and UNOS both focus on making more lifesaving transplants available, safely and equitably, to the 108,000 patients on the national organ waiting list.
“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,” says Humphries.
“A hardworking team and the generosity of Arizonans help DNA save and heal more lives each year,” says Geraghty. “However, we always seek to improve our processes until no one loses their life while waiting for an organ transplant.”
Arizonans can join the DonateLifeAZ Registry when they apply for or renew a driver’s license or state ID at an ADOT MVD office. They can also register online at DonateLifeAZ.org.