I’m writing this in response to a subthread on the Sentinel Thread about how AI did, or didn’t, explain correctly what TMDX does, and a lot of confusion by the posters about what TMDX actually does do. I’m starting a new thread so that anyone interested in TMDX will be aware of it.
This is all paraphrased from an excellent post by WSM007, back in December, so I’m amazed that there is so much misunderstanding.
What they do
Transmedics solves a big problem on the supply side of the organ transplant supply chain. There is a huge demand for organs, which currently cannot be met due to inefficiencies in the supply side which leads to most donated organs being thrown away. Transmedics solves this with new technology and a better supply chain for the process.
Transmedics is replacing cold storage of donated organs (organs on ice) with their OCS product as the standard of care . Their system keeps organs warm and artificially perfused (=warm blood/fluid being pumped through the organ to keep it “alive”). This results in organs staying relatively healthy and usable for much longer than keeping them on ice.
In addition, most donated hearts have historically been thrown away without even an attempt to get them transplanted. This is because most people die from heart stoppage and not from brain death, and historically only/mostly organs harvested from people dying from brain death (and hence with their heart still beating) could be used. Organs die quickly if not properly perfused and also relatively quickly when on ice. Because TMDX puts the organs on “life support”, even organs deemed not feasible in the past due to the way the person died, are now considered feasible for transplantation, resulting in an expansion of the market.
TMDX also provide the logistical service of distributing the organs from the donor to the transplanting hospital, thereby alleviating this difficult and non-core logistical problem for the transplanting hospital.
In addition, doctors can now inspect organs pre-transplantation to see if they are suitable and and also treat the organs pre-transplantation with hormones etc. that increase the success of transplants.
Lastly, because organs can now be “kept alive” safely for longer, doctors and the transplanting team at the hospitals doing the transplants now no longer need to rush in to do a transplant whenever someone with the right donor organ dies (i.e. unscheduled, middle of the night), but can schedule the procedure during the day and when there is operating room capacity.
Taken together, these improvements are huge as it solves problems and reduces costs for everyone in the chain (except the donors, of course…): recipients benefit as there is now more usable organ supply and the outcomes are better, the medical teams doing the transplants now can do a procedure during the day and don’t need to get up and rush to the hospital at 3am, OR’s benefit as they can schedule the procedures and hence do more of them (and hence make more money), and health care insurers benefit as doing a transplant is cheaper than keeping patients alive with alternative care, hence doing more transplants is in their interest.
TMDX has in the last year or so gotten regulatory approval for three organs: heart, lung, liver. And they are working on providing kidney in the future.
And kidney transplants is a big deal, as there are many, many more patients in need of a kidney than all 3 other organs combined: