Health Care Heroes: Family history inspires kidney matchmaking software
David Jacobs was recovering from a successful kidney transplant in 2006 when he and his doctor had a fateful conversation. Jacobs, a successful Silicon Valley tech pioneer who had worked at Macromedia, longed to help other kidney patients. Why, he asked, did hospitals not have better software programs to match kidney donors with people waiting for a transplant? His doctor, Steve Katznelson, a kidney specialist at California Pacific Medical Center, suggested that Jacobs draw on his engineering background to build one. Frustrated with the number of living kidney donors turned away from donation due to incompatibility, they came up with the idea for the software later called Matchmaker.