Blood Donation a Life-Saving ExperienceBy Miriam Bello | Wed, 12/09/2020 - 09:23
Q: What strategies do you use to promote blood donation?
A: Mexico is one of the lowest-ranking countries in terms of altruist blood donation. The country has a very quick donation process but long wait times for patients. That is the first area of opportunity that we wanted to tackle. We wanted to address the problem of connecting donors with patients. Since most donations come from a relative or a friend, finding the right person to match the necessary type of blood and making sure the person meets the donation requirements can take too long. Our next goal was to contact hospitals that were willing to receive the donors with a proper appointment schedule to avoid the six-hour wait. This led us to create an appointment platform for these hospitals.
We realized that what really drove people to donate blood was not the fact of donating but the experience of helping people and the feeling of actually saving a person’s life. This led us to create “Share Party,” a donation campaign in which we work as an intermediary between companies and blood banks. We arrange the communication strategy with companies’ employees, creating a landing page for the company that includes donation requirements, date of the campaign, the place where the donation will take place and a 24/7 chatbot that answers all donation-related questions. Once they register, donators can schedule their appointment through their phone and receive notifications with tips on how to prepare.
Our goal with this approach is to clarify myths and false assumptions and also facilitate the process by offering information. Donation becomes a company event and it creates an environment of trust and accessibility that can promote the desire to donate. These campaigns have led to a significant increase in companies and people participating in blood donation.
We help companies at no cost. We create the communication strategy and a landing page to facilitate blood donation. For blood banks, the biggest benefit is blood availability. Having blood at their disposal allows them to offer a better service.
Q: What opportunities did you detect in the blood bank system?
A: One valuable factor that we identified was that the blood bank systems were inefficient. They would register data by hand, which would stop them from organizing campaigns because of all the extra work to input their hand-written data into their system. To address this problem, we created a blood bank supply management system called SAFTÜ that allows blood banks to digitalize their processes with a tablet or a laptop.
Q: What are your views on incentivizing people to donate?
A: I do not think it is necessary to provide incentives. Donation is possible through good communication processes and good experiences. Understanding the problem leads to much better results. I am in favor of people receiving a meaningful gesture after donating as a thank you but I do not see the need for further motivation.
Q: How will technology transform the patients’ experience and blood donation?
A: Data interconnection can be very beneficial in terms of patient records. Having their records would not allow them to lie about delicate information that can endanger others and would also make processes more efficient because campaign volunteers would not have to collect the same information every single time they see a donor. Also, I find chatbots to be very useful for providing quick and accurate information. An informed person can make a better and well-thought decision.
Q: What are Blooders’ expansion plans for 2020?
A: Right now, we are present in Nuevo Leon, Mexico City and Guadalajara. We have expansion plans for SAFTÜ. We are working with 21 blood banks in Mexico but we want to expand to Latin America. One of the advantages of our software is that it is cloud-based, which allows us to offer it at a very competitive price with digital training and installation.
Lastly, we are beginning to introduce an educational donation program in primary and secondary schools, which we think is the best age to introduce the subject. We are collaborating with the International Society of Blood Transfusion to research and measure the availability of future donors. First, we want to conduct a test to understand children’s knowledge of blood donation. Then, we will implement our educational program and finally we will conduct that same test to conclude if their perception on the subject changed. In the long run, we would like to provide an educational plan to any school that wants to implement it and thus increase the number of future donors.
Blooders is a digital platform created to promote blood donation. The platform connects donors and patients through a webpage, an app, social media and a blog that facilitates and accelerates the donation process