“A critical shortage of blood has forced the cancellation of elective surgeries in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Atlanta, the American Red Cross said today. Both the Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers (ABC), which together represent virtually all U.S. blood banks, reported severe shortages at a season when blood supplies are usually adequate. “
As ABC news reported the United States suffer from a scarcity of blood donations which leads to an under supply of victims and jeopardizes elective surgeries. However, many nations around the world suffer from the same problem as the US does.
But how can we resolve this endangerous situation that threatens the life of millions?
Right now, there are two key issues contributing to the problem: On one hand side, there are many people out there who don´t participate in the process of regular donations. Most of them don´t feel engaged to the topic or they dislike the lack of transparency how their donation is used later on. On the other hand, there is a huge number of donations that goes straight to the bin and is never used to save a life. But how does this happen so often? The core of the problem is the tracking and allocation of the donation during it´s useful life.
Both of the problems need to be tackled as soon as possible especially behind the background that we face an increasing demand of blood donations. Most of the modern complex therapies such as chemotherapy, organ transplantation and heart surgeries, require a massive amount of blood and blood products.
One way to resolve one of the biggest problems in healthcare would be to applicate the Blockchain technology on the blood donation system. With a strong and decentralized database, more information could be stored and accessed without violating data protection regulations. By storing the data in the Blockchain it becomes unmanipulateable and further analytics can be applied to enhance the allocation of donations within the system. With an insightful end-to-end visibility, with respect to the donor´s personal data, an automatic push notification system can be established. That gives a donor direct feedback when their blood is used to safe another human’s life. As the country of Sweden already introduced a more simplified way of notifications, the willingness to donate and the engagement of the donors went up tremendously.
Marc Philipp Wolz, MiM Candidate at IE Business School, & B.Sc. Johannes Gutenberg-University