SOURCE: National Kidney Registry

National Kidney Registry

March 09, 2012 12:00 ET

Breakthrough Computer Technology Saves Lives

New Paired Exchange Matching Algorithm Will Facilitate Life-Saving Kidney Transplants

BABYLON, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 9, 2012) - The deployment of a new kidney matching algorithm is significantly boosting paired exchange match rates and allowing more patients to receive life-saving kidney transplants. The announcement came from Garet Hil, CEO of the National Kidney Registry.

The new algorithm, named SMELAC, which is short for Simultaneous Mutually Exclusive Loops and Chains, found 29% - 167% more matches than the previous algorithm employed by the National Kidney Registry. The SMELAC algorithm was developed by the National Kidney Registry on the Microsoft .NET platform with technical support donated by Microsoft Corporation. Other key contributors to this breakthrough, who have published many academic papers on kidney matching and have assisted in the establishment of kidney exchange programs, include Alvin Roth of Harvard University and Itai Ashlagi from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In describing the significance of this breakthrough, Microsoft's Vice President of Public Sector Services, Wes Anderson said, "It has been incredibly rewarding to work with the National Kidney Registry to apply Microsoft technology advances towards improving the lives of -- and even finding matches for -- patients suffering from kidney failure." Mr. Hil added, "This effort has been under development at the National Kidney Registry for nearly two years, and the results are far exceeding our original expectations. The SMELAC algorithm has already facilitated many additional transplants for patients listed in our program."

Expanding on the importance of this latest innovation in kidney matching algorithms, Alvin Roth, Professor at Harvard University said, "We have come a long way in the past decade. Advances in algorithms, business practices and medical procedures have transformed kidney exchange from a promising research idea to a fast growing part of kidney transplantation." Itai Ashlagi, Professor at MIT, added, "It is becoming ever more clear that the long, nonsimultaneous chains of transplants that can be initiated by a single non-directed donor play a vital role in kidney exchange, particularly for the hardest to match patients."

About the National Kidney Registry
The National Kidney Registry is the leader in paired exchange transplantation and has facilitated more paired exchange transplants than any other organization in the world. The National Kidney Registry is a nonprofit organization with the mission to save and improve the lives of people facing kidney failure by increasing the quality, speed, and number of living donor transplants in the world.

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