Ensuring an efficient and transparent allocation process

Hundreds of people rely each year on organ transplantations to recover from diseases or accidents. OpenWT supported the digitalization of the Federal Office of Public Health and Swisstransplant for a more efficient and transparent allocation process.

Context

Swisstransplant manages all organ allocations in Switzerland on behalf of our Client – the Federal Office of Public Health.

Over the years, its work has been complexified by the introduction of a complex legal framework. No less than one federal act and three ordinances regulate its activities. The Federal Office of Public Health needed a new digital platform to tackle this complexity.

 

The objectives of the platform were threefold:

  • Managing the list of donors and receivers
  • Handling the complex allocation mechanism in accordance with the law
  • Ensuring transparent and traceable decisions while protecting the privacy of patients

OpenWT was trusted by the Federal Office of Public Health to deliver this ambitious project – contributing to the digitalization of the Swiss health sector.

Analysis

Together with our Client we defined an approach to design, develop and later support the operation of the platform.

  • The first step was to decompose all medical, legal and organizational factors impacting organ allocations. We interviewed doctors, surgeons and laboratory experts in addition to performing extensive research.
  • As a result, we documented hundreds of parameters ranging from the donor’s age or blood type to lab results such as insulin levels. Our team also modeled the intricate rules described in the law to calculate the ranking of the recipients.
  • Finally, we worked with our Client to digitalize its existing decision and communication processes – both internal and external, involving partners such as laboratories or transplant centers.

Development

To develop the software, we were confronted with numerous technical challenges:

  • The architecture of the software had to be flexible enough to accommodate future changes in the law
  • The security had to be of the highest standards
  • The platform had to be accessible at all times from everywhere in Switzerland

To accommodate all these requirements, the team designed and developed a state of the art web application. Its ingenious architecture made it future proof while allowing it to be secure and replicated in different hosting environments. Our team also provided hundreds of test scenarios to ensure the quality of the software and its compliance to the applicable laws. The solution has been developped based on a Microsoft Technology stack.

Evolution, support and maintenance

The application is updated every year with new features and major improvements:

Since 2019, Swisstransplant can exchange patient data electronically with national laboratories - a premiere in Switzerland.

In 2020, an innovative process for Kidney donation has also been implemented: a pool of living donors and receivers enables cross-allocation. This new allocation process maximises the probability of finding pairs - even when a relative is not compatible.

And more recently in 2021, a new statistical tool running under MS SQL Server Reporting Services has been implemented. The end users can extract and aggregate data to obtain numerous information such as:

  • Blood group distribution of donors
  • Waiting list per organ
  • Transplantation rates, and statistics for each organ

 

With each release, we perform extensive tests and regression checks to ensure the allocations rules are correct, ensuring that the solution respects legal and security constraints. The team continues to work with our Client for support and maintenance and regularly implement new functionnalities.

Results

Our Client has a trusted and bespoke tool to support its mission.

Thousands of organ donors and receivers have already been matched, with many more to come.

We are proud to be trusted a partner and support them in their crucial role.

6

Different transplantable organs

500

Organs transplanted each year in Switzerland

< 24h

Allocation duration of an organ

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