Why Do We Throw Out So Many Donated Kidneys?

Uber and FedEx can solve the problem

Benjamin Gordon
Sep 12 · 2 min read

Did you know there are 93,000 Americans on a waiting list for a donated kidney, but over 3,500 donated kidneys get thrown out each year?

That’s the result of a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, and a CNN article.

20% of all donated kidneys simply get discarded.

This is a failure in our medical system. A key culprit is our regulatory system, which throws out twice as many kidneys as do other countries, like France. A 2016 study found that 50% of the kidneys discarded could have been transplanted, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

But it is also an opportunity for our supply chain innovators. Can someone come up with a health care reverse logistics solution? This seems like a problem which our couriers, expedited logistics, healthcare logistics, and reverse logistics thought leaders at UPS, FedEx, DHL, XPO and elsewhere should be able to solve.

What would a solution look like?

One idea is to create a geographic map, similar to what logistics companies use. You could start with a map of patients overlaid against a map of donors. In addition, you could create a network of couriers who specialize in expediting human organs and other high-value shipments.

In fact, this is similar to what companies like Uber and Lyft have built.

As a result, you could slash the time from donation to organ transplant by as much as 90%.

Wouldn’t this be an ideal way to use our sophisticated logistics and technology to advance our social goals?

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity

Benjamin Gordon

Written by

Ben Gordon, CEO of Cambridge Capital and BGSA. Investor in logistics and supply chain technology. Published at Fortune and CNBC. http://bengordonpalmbeach.com/

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity

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