For Immediate Release
Sue Finkam, 317.614.5835, PR@gomedigo.io
Innovative technology aims to revolutionize transport of donated organs and tissues by UAS operations in rural areas to overcome patient inequities
(Baltimore – November 15, 2022) – Organizations across the United States partnered together this week to help revolutionize the transport of organs for lifesaving transplants.
MediGO, a digital healthcare supply chain technology company focused on the donation and transplantation process; LifeGift, the non-profit organ and tissue donation organization serving 109 Texas counties in Southeast, North and West Texas; LifeShare, the organ procurement organization in Oklahoma responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for transplant purposes; and the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA), the OPO in San Antonio responsible for the recovery of organs in south and central Texas, joined forces with the Matador UAS Consortium, co-developed by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and 2THEDGE, LLC, to test the ability to successfully move organs and blood by uncrewed aerial transport (UAS) between Lubbock, Texas; Oklahoma City and San Antonio.
The test flight took place on Tuesday, Nov. 15, with the UAS flight originating at Lubbock’s Texas Tech University Reese Technology Center, traveling 350 miles to Oklahoma City, and then proceeding 471 miles to San Antonio.
The flight achieved an important milestone in that it marked the farthest distance donated organs have been transported by an Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA). The OPA transported a donated human liver, kidney and pancreas between the three cities.
Although there was a pilot on board per Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, the plane was flown entirely by onboard technology. The organs were donated for clinical research and were not transplanted following the fight demonstration.
MediGO’s award-winning Scoutline™ platform provided participating organ procurement and transplant teams with real-time precision data to accurately monitor the organ shipments during transport, empower teams to adjust plans if delays occurred and coordinate teams to ensure each organ’s journey was optimized for transplant.
The overall goal of the use of this groundbreaking UAS technology is to improve transport of donated organs and tissues in rural areas to better serve patients. Objectives include:
- Drive innovation and technology to better serve all patients, especially those located in rural areas, to improve equity and create a fairer national system for donor organs and tissue.
- Address transportation challenges in the facilitation of organs for transplant and minimize the time between organ recovery and transplantation.
- Test the efficacy of transporting organs and biological materials via UAS technology from hospitals in rural areas to transplant programs.
- Increase efficiency of the logistics involved in the testing of blood and biological material to allocate organs and in the recovery of donated organs.
“We’re proud to join the Consortium to demonstrate how MediGO’s innovations, working in tandem with UAS operations and the dedicated teams at LifeGift, LifeShare and TOSA, can optimize organ recovery, allocation and transportation to reduce inequities and increase access to lifesaving transplants,” said Scott Plank, CEO and co-founder of MediGO.
MediGO’s innovative healthcare supply chain technology digitally transforms the U.S. organ donation and transplant system to improve fairness and equity, reduce nonuse of donated organs, and save more lives. Recognized by Edison Awards and Fast Company for its disruptive technology, and powered by proprietary algorithms and machine learning, MediGO provides the most actionable data available in the donation and transplantation industry. For more information about MediGO, a JSP Ventures company, visit gomedigo.io.
LifeGift is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) health services organization. As the organ procurement organization (OPO) for North, Southeast and West Texas, we partner with more than 200 hospitals across 109 counties to save and heal lives. LifeGift is a founding member of Donate Life Texas, the organization that manages the organ, eye and tissue donor registry. For more information, please visit www.LifeGift.org.
LifeShare is a nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissue for transplant purposes. We work closely with three transplant centers and 145 healthcare organizations in the state of Oklahoma to facilitate donation. Additionally, we strive to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation through public education. For more information, please visit LifeShareOK.org.
Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA), founded in 1975, is one of 56 federally designated organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. TOSA is committed to a mission of saving lives through the power of organ donation by providing organ donation and recovery services to Central and South Texans wishing to donate, and to those waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. For more information, visit TOSA1.org.
About Matador Consortium™ :
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 2THEDGE and our Matador Consortium™ of industry affiliates have come together to address the regulatory, operational and technical opportunities involved with using drones for nonrecreational endeavors. The Matador Consortium seeks to develop drone research to support donor organ transport, rural health care services, large animal sample transport, search and rescue support, crop and herd management, infrastructure inspection, and drone-related jobs training.