dHealth Network, a decentralized healthcare platform, OrganX, a leading organ donation organization, and the Paris Transplant Group cooperate to build a digital organ donor card. The three not-for-profit organizations aim to utilize blockchain technology to preserve the privacy of the card owner and make their decision accessible when needed everywhere at any time.
For many patients, an organ donation is the only option to survive or improve their quality of life dramatically. Unfortunately, there’s a big discrepancy between available organs and patients on the waiting list. In the US alone, more than 100'000 patients are on the waiting list, and 17 of them die daily because of the shortage of donor organs*. To alleviate the problem of organ shortage, governments regulate who can become organ donors. Depending on the country where they live, people can voluntarily declare which organ they want to donate in case of their death (opt-in). However, in a growing number of countries, they automatically become potential organ donors if they do not opt-out. At any rate, it is advisable to make one’s intentions available to your doctor and family, who will make sure your decision regarding organ donation is respected when that situation demands it.
The decision of a person to donate or not is usually made in an advance directive or with an organ donor card. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not have either one. If they do, it is usually paper-based and may be unavailable when needed. An attempt in Switzerland to digitise it had to be cancelled due to privacy issues. As a result, when someone becomes a potential organ donor, in the opt-in scenario, many organs become unavailable for patients on the waiting list, whereas, in the opt-out scenario, decisions not to donate specific organs or not to donate at all cannot be respected.
The aim of a blockchain-based Organ Donor Card is the global accessibility of a person’s decision on organ donation, preserve the person’s privacy, and make the decision unforgeable. The first release is planned for the summer of 2023.
Who are the Partners?
OrganX is an independent multi-organ health technology non-profit organization aiming to accelerate advances in organ care by combining translational biomedical research with cutting-edge digital health technologies. Its purpose is to digitize the transplantation system and build the first global AI-driven and blockchain-powered solid organ exchange. It is partnering with many companies and research projects to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and tracking of chronic organ diseases, failure, and transplantation.
The Paris Transplant Group is a multidisciplinary team dedicated to transplantation, which brings together immunologists, laboratory medical practitioners, researchers, nephrologists, cardiologists, neurologists, pathologists, statisticians, and public health specialists.
A leap forward
dHealth is identifying gaps in the current healthcare system where user-centric solutions based on Web3 technology mean a leap forward for both sides. An organ donor card is a simple data set that can be standardized and exist in parallel to the established healthcare IT systems. However, it is the first step, making it transparent and equitable. The decision to use the Donor Card is in the hands of the individual users who also benefit from it. Hence it has the potential of being used by many people because currently, no good solutions are available, and the problem of whether or not we want to be organ donors concerns us all.