A new Baltimore medical technology company, headed up by a local developer and investor, made its debut in the national health care industry Tuesday.
MediGO offers a hardware and software platform for organ transplantation logistics, designed to make it easier for hospitals, donors and other stakeholders to track donated organs as they are delivered to their recipients.
The company is led by CEO Scott Plank, a local businessman and brother to Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, along with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Scalea, a multi-organ transplant surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and President Tony Pucciarella, who also leads AlarisPro, an unmanned systems company.
MediGO’s platform aims to bridge the “workflow gaps in organ transportation” and was created with input from all 58 U.S.-based Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) and transplant centers, according to a release from the company.
The technology was demonstrated for the first time publicly Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Association for Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), which was held virtually this year due to Covid-19.
In an interview Tuesday, Plank said this latest venture is an opportunity for him to support an industry that has a “blindspot” around logistics, and help ensure organs that are being transported from donor centers to transplant hospitals make it there safely, quickly and efficiently. It’s also a chance for Plank personally to turn his attention to things he is most passionate about, namely mission-based and strategic impact investing. His company Scott Plank Ventures carries a mission of building community and making a positive impact through its investments, he said.
With MediGO, Plank is leaning on his more than a decade of experience at Under Armour where he was responsible for building out the company’s e-commerce strategy and overseeing global logistics.
“Dr. Scalea asked me to take a look at the industry and what we realized is there is a strong need to apply what I would call best practices,” Plank said.
MediGO’s technology allows for the tracking, communication and monitoring of organ shipments in real-time. It records any environmental and physical stimuli the organ may experience during transportation, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, light and vibration. The data will inform machine-learning algorithms, which can then make changes to improve the organ transplant supply chain, such as the routing of shipments.
Since February, the system has been used and tested by donor centers Living Legacy in Baltimore and Gift of Life in Philadelphia, as well as the University of Maryland Medical System. Plank expressed his gratitude to UMMS for their “consistent support” and applauded them for finding innovative ways to approach things and for their partnerships with private companies such as his own.
MediGO’s software will continue to undergo improvements, Plank said, and the company will work with OPO partners to ensure the product meets their needs. Currently the company has about 15 employees and 25 outside contractors, he added.
Plank is the sole funder of the company, but declined to disclose how much he has put toward the effort. Unlike previous investments, he’s taking a more forward role as CEO of the company.
“I try very hard to invest my time and energy and resources where we have a point of view and can add value,” he said. “I like to say, if it’s worth my time, it’s worth my money.”
He added that in the grand scheme of health care, the organ transplant industry is a smaller entity and “somewhat behind the scenes.” That means it doesn’t always get the attention of venture capitalists that it should, Plank said.
MediGO is not Plank’s first foray into organ transplantation. From 2006 to 2011 he was an investor in a college friend’s startup, Transplant Connect, which sought to enhance the organ transplant supply chain.
Plank also put forward $300,000 to fund the world’s first live organ flight via drone. His real estate and development firm, War Horse Cities, also owns the urban air mobility heliport in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
MediGO was spun out of another one of Plank’s ventures, MissionGO, a logistics and transportation company focused on the unmanned or drone industry. MissionGO acquired Pucciarella’s company Alaris in 2019, and today Pucciarella holds the title of president at all three companies.
While Plank still remains at the head of War Horse and is involved in his other projects, taking the role of CEO at MediGO represents a shift away from the “challenging” real estate market.
This article was repurposed from the Baltimore Business Journal. Read the full article here.
Learn more about MediGO here.