Speeding Up Life-Saving Transplants

Summary: Leveraging telemedicine helps narrow the gap between when a patient is identified as needing life-saving treatment and when they actually receive that treatment. Learn how Gift of Life uses patient-friendly telemedicine to improve screening time for bone marrow donors.
Speeding Up Life-Saving Transplants

The Problem

National not-for-profit marrow registry Gift of Life matches donors with patients in need of blood stem cell transplants. Often, donors have to fly to Gift of Life's collection center in Boca Raton, Florida, twice; once for their physical exam, and then again for their actual stem cell donation. Travel restrictions and health concerns caused by the COVID-19 crisis thrust donors, patients in need of these life-saving treatments, and healthcare providers facilitating the process into a high-stakes limbo.

Gift of Life was determined to ensure mission-critical stem cell donations weren't delayed, while also ensuring the safety and well-being of its heroic donors. In addition, Gift of Life is always looking for ways to get patients their transplants sooner and to streamline the process. Now, those two goals would be met.

The Solution

To solve the problems of exposure, travel, and the race against time, Gift of Life sends donors all the tools needed for a virtual exam, including the Eko DUO ECG + Digital Stethoscope. When the donor opens the box, there is a note inside with a few simple instructions. Prospective donors turn on the device, log in, and are coached through capturing their heart and lung sounds, and their ECG. This all happens through the Eko Telehealth App. During the virtual visit, a clinician listens to heart and lung sounds and views the data on a computer in real time. The clinician and donor can see each other on live video, allowing the clinician to walk the patient through the exam. Afterward, the clinician can save sounds and a PDF of the PCG and ECG to the donor's chart.

The Outcome

Gift of Life's deployment of Eko Telehealth and Eko DUO not only limits risk of exposure to COVID-19, but also saves time and money. Donors can complete a screening exam from the comfort of their own home over the course of a few minutes instead of taking time-consuming and costly cross-country trips.

"Patients need transplants sooner and sooner. We're always working to streamline the transplant process and shorten the length of time to help save their lives. The easy-to-use Eko DUO and patient video is a way to make that happen."

Richaele Nichiporenko, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Associate Director, Medical Services, Gift of Life Marrow Registry