The need to save lives and provide excellent blood products has been pressing in Africa. More patients need blood while the donating group is less. Statistics show that less than 1.5% of the population donates blood whereas up to 75% of people need blood. There’s a wide gap that would only be bridged by developing an app. Its purpose is to alert the donors of the blood group required, as well as the nearest clinic available. WP Blood App was developed in South Africa, and it is the first of its kind. Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS), NXT Digital Innovation and Tracker companies partnered for the creation of this life-saving app. WP app helps donors find a nearby clinic where they can donate their blood.
How the app works
The WP app uses the information of the registered users to relay information about blood needs. In case of emergency, the users are notified through their profiles. They then rise to the occasion to provide a solution. The app simplifies the work of the donors. This happens when the details of the situation are captured. WP app also sensitizes the people on the need of giving out blood to the delicate patients. After donations, donors are taught to mobilize their friends and family to give out blood. The theme of the campaign is usually; “Give blood. Give now. Give often.”
Speaking on the new development, WPBTS spokesperson, Marlize van der Merwe, said: “The WP APP is the first of its kind in South Africa, so we are very excited about this new development and its life-saving potential. It will make locating a clinic for our donors easier and the app enables us to communicate to our donors on another platform.”
Downloads for the app
Indeed the app has made things easier. In only 16 days, WP has recorded 4,728 android devices downloads and 1,636 apple devices downloads. Also, 780 new donors have shown up via the app. The app launched on 14 June 2017, has led to a wider scope of the donors. NXT chief innovations officer (CIO), David Oosthuizen, says smartphones have played a role in this. “We have these phenomenal devices in our pockets, and the barrier to entry for people in South Africa to own them is declining fast.”
“This means a large percentage of the population can have access to the WPBTS geo-location app, which displays blood levels in real-time and is able to direct donors to the relevant blood clinics.”
Interpreting the app
The app is designed in a way that the user can easily navigate. When a unit is displayed grey, it is closed and red when closed. It will also alert the registered users on important days like World Donor Day (celebrated on 14 June) and other campaigns. For young people who might view blood donation as invulnerable, the app will create awareness on the importance of the same. WP App helps donors find a nearby clinic, to provide an accessible platform for donors of all kinds.
“The app incorporates a story-telling element and FAQ section. The story-telling element includes real peoples’ testimonials about how a blood donation has helped them. This is so important for creating awareness, especially amongst young people who tend to think they are invulnerable and therefore no need to donate,” says Oosthuizen.
Links for WP Blood download
WP Blood is available for free downloads in both the Apple store and Play store. You can download it via these links;
Apple store: https://apple.co/2STf4Dm
Play store: http:bit.ly//2rRB6Yy
Whereas blood donation should be done by all, blood group O donors are advised to donate regularly. This is because of the limited stocks in the blood banks, whereas the blood is highly demanded. Also, more black people should donate blood for purposes of the ethnic diversity of the patients. Wp App helps donors find a nearby clinic, therefore, meeting all the above expectations.