Image | RedGlow
There are applications that measure your heartbeat or that send alerts about what time you should take a pill, but there are others that can help save lives, including yours. We’re not talking about an app that turns into a doctor, but that serves as a medium to promote and drive awareness of an essential practice for the health system: blood donation.
Besides being a distribution tool, these apps can become a bridge between volunteers, associations and hospitals. One example is Moja, an app designed by Vodafone Foundation and the company Mpire Info Business System for the residents of Ghana to donate at centers in their country. The software includes a directory of the different locations where those who are interested can access useful advice about blood donation, as well as chats where they can converse between each other to resolve questions.
Moja becomes especially useful in emergencies, when blood starts to become scarce at health centers. The application saves a database with the volunteers in their blood donation group who have access to the national health system. In the case that a transfusion is needed, they would only have to search in the repository to find the most appropriate donor.
Image | Donem Sang
A little closer to home, in Cataluña, USE IT has developed a project with a group of students at the University of Lleida. While the original idea came from the Urgell Association of Blood Donors, collaboration with the company, the Diputación de Lleida, and the Catalan Federation of Blood Donors, made it a reality. The result is the application ‘Donem Sang’ (“We donate blood” in English).
The app can be download for iOS y Android. Once installed on the device, it shows you which donation center is nearest to you along with information about the center and the easiest way to get there. Each volunteer has a profile that keeps track of their donations and lets them know when an urgent donation is needed.
The American Red Cross also has their own version, the “Blood Donor App,” which donors can use to make appointments, control their donations and even win symbolic prizes if they get more people involved as volunteers. Also, as with the Catalan a Ghanese apps, the tool alerts them when reserves are urgently needed.
In the network of hospitals of São Camilo, in the city of São Paulo (Brazil) they have opted for a web service, the Club Sangue Bom, a project in which also participates the company Biotec Homoterapia. It is a platform where donors can share their experiences online, locate blood banks, ask questions and subscribe to a news bulletin.
All of these tools show that health applications can have more than monitoring functions. Connecting hospitals and health centers with volunteers keeps both sides informed and involved in the donation system to avoid critical situations.
The mHealth competence centre forms part of Mobile World Capital Barcelona’s Programme of International Competence Centers (PCCI). mHealth works with a three-fold objective: to identify mobile technology opportunities in the provision of health services, to transform current healthcare models and processes, and promote the interoperability of health services in the field of mobile technologies and connectivity, building foundations that make it possible to integrate mobile health solutions.
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