News Article

OmniLife Receives $250,000 SBIR Grant in Support of Transplants for Kids project
Date: May 10, 0202

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Featured firm in this article: OmniLife of Lexington, KY

LEXINGTON, Ky., May 10, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OmniLife, a health technology communication and collaboration platform, and collaborators Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Starzl Network have been awarded a $250,000 SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) will support the "Transplants for Kids" project, which will use AI / machine learning algorithms to align optimal donor grafts with children awaiting liver transplants.

Previous work completed by members of the Starzl Network and the OmniLife research team confirmed significant variance in patient mortality among transplant programs that could be prevented with better liver graft selection. The funded project will confirm the feasibility of a graft selection algorithm that assists the clinical teams with matching candidates with available livers. If successful, hundreds of pediatric patients could benefit from increased access to transplants and decreased wait time.

The study has three objectives:
1. Develop a feature space of principle components from combinations of donor, patient, and program characteristics;
2. Train supervised machine learning algorithms for predicting matching characteristics for multiple graft types;
3. Determine the feasibility of incorporating the algorithms into OmniLife Organ Workflows™and deliver the predictions at the time of organ offer, through a randomized controlled trial.


The Investigation team includes scientific and clinical faculty from the Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients (SRTR) and the Universities of Pittsburgh, Columbia, San Francisco, Northwestern, and Iowa. The principal investigator is OmniLife's cofounder and health informatics expert, Eric Pahl. The clinical principal investigator is the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh's Chief of Transplant and Starzl Network's founder, Dr. George Mazariegos. The team is bolstered by transplant biostatistics Nicholas Wood, PhD from SRTR and the clinical leaders in pediatric transplantation affiliated with the Starzl Network: Dr. Emily Perito and Dr. Kang Sang-Mo from UCSF, Dr. Steven Lobritto from Columbia, Dr. Sarah Taylor from Northwestern, and Dr. Jim Squires and Dr. Kyle Soltys from UPMC.