Artificial Intelligence Selects Organs for Transplantation


It’s not always easy to find a compatible organ for a transplant, but a new technology is here to change that by revolutionising the transplant system. Known as Organ Quality Assessment or OrQA, this Artificial Intelligence-based facial recognition method evaluates the quality of an organ, helping surgeons determine whether or not they are fit for a transplant.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is contributing over £1 million in funding to develop this technology. The software “scores” the quality of the organ and gives immediate feedback to the surgeon as to how best to use the donated organ. OrQA could potentially lead to 200 more patients receiving kidney transplants and 100 more receiving liver transplants in the UK each year.

The project is being supported by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), Quality in Organ Donation biobank, and an NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit that aims to deliver research for the NHS. It also involves academics from the Universities of Oxford and New South Wales.

Currently, organs are assessed by sight when they become available, but with OrQA, surgeons will be provided with a more effective way to assess images of donor organs. It is hoped the OrQA software will be ready for a licensing study within the NHS within two years. There is also the possibility of marketing the tool worldwide.

The technology could potentially save hundreds of lives and ensure the best use of donated organs. The Health Minister, Neil O’Brien, has encouraged everyone to register their organ donation decision and share it with their family, so their loved ones can follow their wish of saving others.

The new approach has been carried out in liver, kidney, and pancreas transplantation, with an advanced stage of pre-clinical testing in liver and kidney. Once clinically tested, this cutting-edge technology holds the real promise of saving and improving lives.

This is another example of how AI can enhance our healthcare system and make it more efficient. If you’re interested in learning more about AI and big data, check out the AI & Big Data Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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