Organ transplants are performed annually to remove diseased organs and replace them with healthy ones to extend the lifespan of patients. Potential transplant recipients are placed on a waiting list by a doctor who has determined that a transplant is the best course of action. Once a donor organ is available, the organ transportation system becomes one of the most critical medical devices of the transplantation process, according to Lisa Anderson, president, co-founder and COO of Paragonix Technologies.
Before Anderson helped found Braintree, Mass.–based Paragonix Technologies, she was working in the lab at Harvard Medical School and discovered that two important things were missing in the way organs were being transported: preservation and respect.
“I was at Harvard Medical School doing research in Type 1 diabetes and one of the aspects of my research was to dissect the human pancreas. This was a revelation to me that when I first saw the human pancreas coming into the lab, I called my colleague and I said, ‘Oh my god, they messed up the packaging here. I can’t believe that organs are transported like that. Is this just for research?’” Anderson told Medical Design & Outsourcing in an interview. “I was really upset about it. I still remember it. We called the lab and the clinical staff and they said, ‘No, this is how organs are transported – even for transplantation.’”