BALTIMORE, Dec. 01, 2020 (Baltimore Business Journal) —
Baltimore medical technology company MediGO, led by local developer and investor Scott Plank, has forged its first partnership in the organ donation space.
MediGO, a firm that offers hardware and software to improve organ transplantation logistics, has found its first official customer and innovation partner in the Nevada Donor Network, a federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO). Through this partnership, the Nevada Donor Network will be the first OPO to apply MediGO’s new technology, which is designed to make it easier for hospitals, donors and other stakeholders to track donated organs as they are delivered to their recipients.
The MediGO platform allows for real time monitoring and communication during shipments as an organ travels between cities and is transferred between various handlers and vehicles. The firm aims to use machine learning and data analytics to improve the organ procurement and transportation supply chain. The technology was created with input from all 58 U.S.-based OPOs as well as transplant centers and many organ donors and recipients, MediGO has said. The Nevada Donor Network will be the first OPO to apply the new technology.
Joe Ferreira, CEO of Nevada Donor Network, said his organization recognized an opportunity to apply “cutting-edge innovation” to the organ procurement and transportation pipeline through MediGO’s technology. The 33-year-old nonprofit finds and allocates donated organs and tissues for transplantation. It serves more than 3 million people in the state of Nevada, as well as the more than 110,000 potential transplant recipients across the country.
“We’re building for the future and want to be a beacon for the OPO community, leading the way in technological innovation,” Ferreira said in a statement.
Plank, a local businessman and brother to Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, serves as MediGo’s CEO. Dr. Joseph Scalea, a multi-organ transplant surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center, serves as MediGO’s chief medical officer, and Tony Pucciarella, who also leads unmanned systems company AlarisPro, is the firm’s president.
MediGO is one of a pair of new ventures, spearheaded by Plank, Pucciarella and Scalea, which they hope will bring greater efficiency and access to the organ transplantation industry. MissionGO, MediGO’s sister company, focuses on applying the use of unmanned aircraft systems to transport organs while avoiding normal ground and air traffic and eliminating the need for multiple handoffs. Nevada Donor Network worked with MissionGO this summer to conduct test flights in Las Vegas, including one in which a drone delivered a kidney after about a 10-mile journey.
Plank said he hopes the partnership with Nevada Donor Network “is the first of many” which will ultimately contribute to saving lives through improved organ transplantation logistics.
MediGO was spun out of MissionGO, and MissionGO acquired Pucciarella’s company AlarisPro in 2019. Plank has taken a more forward and active role in building MediGO and MissionGO than he has in other growing companies he has supported through his investment and philanthropy firm, Scott Plank Ventures. He has declined to disclose how much funding has been put toward the sister entities.