LEXINGTON, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–OmniLife, a health technology communication and collaboration platform, and collaborators Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Starzl Network have been awarded a $250,000 SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) will support the “Transplants for Kids” project, which will use AI / machine learning algorithms to align optimal donor grafts with children awaiting liver transplants.

Previous work completed by members of the Starzl Network and the OmniLife research team confirmed significant variance in patient mortality among transplant programs that could be prevented with better liver graft selection. The funded project will confirm the feasibility of a graft selection algorithm that assists the clinical teams with matching candidates with available livers. If successful, hundreds of pediatric patients could benefit from increased access to transplants and decreased wait time.

The study has three objectives:

  1. Develop a feature space of principle components from combinations of donor, patient, and program characteristics;
  2. Train supervised machine learning algorithms for predicting matching characteristics for multiple graft types;
  3. Determine the feasibility of incorporating the algorithms into OmniLife Organ Workflows™ and deliver the predictions at the time of organ offer, through a randomized controlled trial.

The Investigation team includes scientific and clinical faculty from the Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients (SRTR) and the Universities of Pittsburgh, Columbia, San Francisco, Northwestern, and Iowa. The principal investigator is OmniLife’s cofounder and health informatics expert, Eric Pahl. The clinical principal investigator is the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Chief of Transplant and Starzl Network’s founder, Dr. George Mazariegos. The team is bolstered by transplant biostatistics Nicholas Wood, PhD from SRTR and the clinical leaders in pediatric transplantation affiliated with the Starzl Network: Dr. Emily Perito and Dr. Kang Sang-Mo from UCSF, Dr. Steven Lobritto from Columbia, Dr. Sarah Taylor from Northwestern, and Dr. Jim Squires and Dr. Kyle Soltys from UPMC.

This is the first of two anticipated phases of the project with a total of $2M in expected funding.

OmniLife has been leading efforts to improve communication, decision making, and secure information exchange between all stakeholders in the greater allotransplant ecosystem. Additionally, OmniLife is currently participating in a clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) which includes notable centers such as UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Loma Linda University Transplant Institute, and Stanford Health Care Transplant Program.

About OmniLife:

OmniLife is a certified Benefit Corporation focused on maximizing the gift of life for purposes of transplantation and research. OmniLife is the only end-to-end communication and clinical workflow software platform that is purpose-built specifically to create a more connected and collaborative allotransplant ecosystem.

Inquiries regarding the Transplants for Kids project can be directed to [email protected].

For more information on OmniLife’s organ intake management and patient referral management solutions, visit their website at www.getomnilife.com .