New technologies used for transplanting vital organs
UNOS understands how essential communication technology is to the transplant community. Without the ability to share, deliver and update data in real time, the process of organ donation and transplantation doesn’t function. No longer is information transmitted by phone and fax, but instead through specialized database platforms that deliver vital information securely and instantaneously. As information technology evolves, UNOS continues to develop proprietary, secure, online-based systems to place organs efficiently and collect essential data to improve the transplant field.
A key technology application within the system, Donor Net®, electronically manages organ offers by collecting and filtering data before sending offers to hospitals with compatible transplant candidates. Specialized algorithms take into account a broad spectrum of data and vital statistics related to both donors and the potential recipients. This system allows the rapid and efficient consideration of organ offers, which can lead to more lifesaving organs being accepted and transplanted.
· The demand for organ transplantation is likely to increase in the next decades despite the advances in medicine and technology; this consideration will play an important role in weighing how technologies other than transplantation can be developed and applied.
· Among the various approaches to replacing organs, the use of pluripotent stem cells, especially those generated from the individual needing treatment, has the appeal because in principle the cells have the ability to form any organ and are histocompatible with the individual needing treatment.
· One key challenge to using stem cells for organ replacement is determining how to coax the cells to form a structure of sufficient size and function to serve the individual needing treatment.
· A challenge potentially eclipsing the technology will be determining whether and how society will meet the cost of applying new approaches to organ replacement.
BY: Khadheeja Zuyyina (ACFS-1)