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Finding a Kidney Online
By: Jennifer Graber
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Finding a kidney online sort of seems like an activity straight from the black market — strange and a bit shady. But forget any preconceived notions you might have about finding a kidney online and open up to the fact that there is an app for that. Yes, folks, there is an app for finding a kidney online — legitimately and legally for those who are on the waiting list for a transplant.
 
OrganJet, at the helm of these digital efforts, also provides patient advisory services, patient listing services, patient transportation services, patient recovery services, and patient concierge services. The company’s overall goal is to provide transplant patients with the greatest number of affordable options, thereby reducing waiting time for a kidney donor.
 
To utilize the app, patients and centers simply go to OrganJet’s services tab on its website. Patients and centers can then search for kidney transplant centers with lower wait times. The generated list is sorted by location, wait times/lists, and children’s centers. The list also allows users to link to the websites of quality transplant centers nearby.
 
The app was developed after OrganJet noticed a large variation in the waiting times for patients on kidney transplant lists. For example, some states may have a waiting time of up to five years, while other states’ waiting time might be less than two years. And because of this, approximately 500–2,500 kidneys go to waste each year and up to 5,000 patients die each year waiting. OrganJet found this disparity unfortunate and decided to take action by developing the app. The goal is to increase information about and access to organ listings.
 
While finding a kidney online might initially raise some concerns, and eyebrows, there seem to be enough "safety nets" in place. There might be some privacy issues or concerns over the misuse and misrepresentation via the internet. However, the OrganJet app is merely a conduit between two entities that hopes to quickly and efficiently connect those who are in need. Patients and centers still need to jump through the appropriate hoops to get through the process.
 
OrganJet’s app seems like a great use of digital prowess in today’s tech world. Why not use your digital knowledge to aid in the process of saving lives? Not only is this a worthy humanitarian effort, but it also makes good business sense. This app could also lead to further digital cooperation amongst medical and healthcare units/centers. The app has potential application and implication for other organs and donations. Could this work for heart, liver, lung, or other organ transplants? But as it always is with increased digitization of a process, especially in the medical field, does this take the human element out too much? Are we placing too much emphasis on the digital world in this case?
 
And the discussion about OrganJet’s app can really go beyond the medical field. It opens up a line of discourse about creative app and digital development. What other things can we develop an app to do? Are we thinking outside the box too much? Not enough? And how do we make sure in our development that we are creating relevant and useful apps?
 
You know we jokingly say "there's an app for that" about a million times a day. But who would have ever thought that statement would someday become a true life saver? While finding a kidney online might still be a novel idea, it is one that we will embrace as the medical and healthcare fields continue further into the future.


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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