Big QuestionsOur work related to complex challenges.

The Challenge

An urgent need to improve organ storage and transportation.


The LifePort Kidney Transporter, a high-tech solution that doubles storage time.

With approximately 55,000 Americans waiting to receive kidneys and a list that could double in the next 10 years, there is an acute and urgent need for new technology to increase the quality and number of organs available for transplant. Using the conventional method of organ storage and transportation—a cooler filled with ice—doctors and nurses needed to accompany the organ to ensure proper handling.

IDEO and Organ Recovery Systems created the LifePort Kidney Transporter to provide a new high-tech alternative. The LifePort gently perfuses, or pumps, the kidney with a cold liquid solution to improve its condition before transplantation, which can nearly double storage time and may increase the number of usable kidneys and improve patient outcomes. The device also provides critical data to monitor and evaluate kidneys during transport.

Organ Recovery Systems believes that perfusion has the potential to remove tens of thousands of patients from the waiting list and dialysis, and save the healthcare system more than $1 billion annually. In 2006, the LifePort Kidney Transporter was used to transport 350 kidneys per month in 12 countries, and was included in the permanent architecture and design collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

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