NZ Blood Service CIO: The making of a lifesaving app
- 13 June, 2016 06:30
The app was developed to create regular touchpoints with our donors who use technology as part of their everyday lives.
“Over 50 per cent of blood donations are made through mobile blood drives across the country," says Tony Carpinter, national IS manager for New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS).
“Staying connected with all our donors, not just those that visit a donor centre, is vitally important to New Zealand Blood Service,” says Carpinter, as the organisation marks World Blood Donor Day with the launch of a mobile app.
The app aims to make it easier for Kiwis to donate blood. It can be used to book appointments and access maps of all the blood drives across the country and share this data across personal social media platforms. The donors will be notified when their blood has been used to help save a life.
“By embracing technology that appeals to a younger audience, we hope to attract new life-long blood donors, as well as encouraging our existing donors to continue donating," he states.
Carpinter explains since the development of their first app in 2009, advances in mobile technology have allowed NZBS to explore new ways to stay connected with its donors in the digital era. “The result is an app that was developed to create regular touchpoints with our donors who use technology as part of their everyday lives."
With an ageing population in New Zealand, reaching out to potential young donors is increasingly important for NZBS, he adds.
By embracing technology that appeals to a younger audience, we hope to attract new life-long blood donors, as well as encouraging our existing donors to continue donating.
“The app was developed in an intuitive way that will enable us to stay connected with all of our donors, creating regular touchpoints that we hope will act as a call to action to continue donating and encourage others to do so as well,” says Asuka Burge, NZBS national manager marketing and communications.
“When developing the app it was very important for us to include features that would help ensure our donors continued to feel valued and to remind them what a wonderful gift they are giving.
“Donors could be at home, on the bus to work or just supermarket shopping and they will receive a ‘thank you’. We hope it goes some way to remind our donors what a wonderful difference they are making to someone else’s life,” says Burge.
NZBS says last year, 110,000 New Zealanders donated over 160,000 units of blood, helping save the lives of over 42,000 Kiwis.
“Donating blood is selfless act which has the potential to save the life of a total stranger," says Burge. “We want to say ‘thank you blood donors’ and acknowledge how their generosity touches so many lives."
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Key features of the app
Through the locations view, donors will be able to view all donor centres and mobile blood drives in the country, plotted on a map. Once a location has been selected, the donor will be able to choose their preferred date and time before confirming the appointment. The app will also allow donors to book multiple future appointments, and receive reminders for their upcoming appointments. Donors can also receive helpful notifications to let them know when their local mobile blood drive has been confirmed in their area.
It was very important for us to include features that would help ensure our donors continued to feel valued and to remind them what a wonderful gift they are giving.
Digital Donor ID card
Instead of carrying a physical Donor ID Card, donors arriving at an appointment can simply present their Donor ID in the app.
Donors will be able to see their blood type, access their donation history and view their upcoming appointments via the app. Days until they are eligible to donate again will also be shown to provide a handy reminder when they can donate again.
Blood use notification:
Once a donation has been made, whole blood donors will receive a notification when their blood has been used. This is only available for whole blood donors.
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