Mobile App Promotes Safe Blood Donation in Brazil During COVID-19 Pandemic
Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ in collaboration with MTM Tecnologia and ClearTech launched a mobile app supporting the Green and Yellow Blood Project in Brazil. The free app is designed to promote and facilitate safe blood donation throughout the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ensuring steady blood donation during this time of great uncertainty and need is critical. Car accidents, people being diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and life-altering surgeries are still taking place – for all of which, blood donation is a necessity. Adding more pressure to blood donation centers, patients affected by COVID-19 have created disproportionate demands for blood transfussion.
According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center, there have been over 867,000 confirmed cases in Brazil, with the numbers trending upwards in areas including Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paul, Ceara and Amazonas. Since the first case was detected on February 26, Brazil now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Latin America.
As stress on the healthcare system continues to increase, many people are left wondering what they can do. While times like these can make people feel helpless, the Green and Yellow Blood project has provided an opportunity for donors to take action by donating blood to those who need it. Normal conditions for blood donation are incompatable with health regulations during COVID-19. Beds are close together, walk-in wait times can build up with large groups congregating in small waiting rooms, and medical personnel are in close quarters with each other and donors for hours at a time. Giving blood remotely is not an option, so we looked to mobile technology to find a solution. With our partners, we’ve been able to revolutionize the blood donation process to create a safe, effective environment for donors and medical personnel.
The first and most pressing need was for more space than traditional clinics allow. Through coordination with the Brazillian Soccer Federation (CBF), Brazilian Association of Hematology, Hematology and Cell Therapy (ABHH), and Association Paulista of Medicine (APM), blood donation events are now being held in soccer stadiums, allowing for plenty of space between beds, and lowering health risks to donors and healthcare workers.
The mobile app acts as a cornerstone of the “new normal” for blood donation, providing users with alerts about donation events, information on donation criteria, and the ability to schedule appointments during events. This means no more crowded waiting areas, and a safer atmosphere for all involved. To ensure accessability, the app is offered at no cost to users, including free access to the mobile broadband. Healthcare workers utilizing the app also have access to a website that confirms appointments and allows them to send messages directly to donors.
"Mobile technology has an important social role in a health crisis,” says Francisco Carlos Soares, Vice President, Government Affairs LATAM, QUALCOMM Serviços de Telecomunicações Ltda. “Our company is proud of our collaboration with MTM Tecnologia and ClearTech to leverage existing solutions and provide a free infrastructure that makes blood donations safer during the pandemic.”
The first flagship donation event took place on from May 26th to the 28th and was an incredible success. Since the app went to market, its been downloaded more than 10,000 times, and more than 2,700 users have officialy registered. The first event brought 1,798 scheduled donors (and a total of 976 blood bags collected). This phenominal result will in turn impact more than 4,000 patients in need.
Many donors left comments through the mobile app to share how delighted they were to participate in this life saving initative. Twenty-five year old Gabriella Dos Sandos Rodrigues said, “...I made my first blood donation during the Green and Yellow Blood Donation Campaign, held by ABHH at Allianz Parque. It was very gratifying to know that, in less than 15 minutes, I was able to contribute and help four lives. Donating blood is an act of empathy, love and care for others.”
Of the five blood banks involved, many were completely depleted of their stock. Thanks to this donation event, they now have enough blood to sustain them for a full month.
ProSangue Blood Donation center said, “Hundreds of people with an open heart came in solidarity to donate blood and we are sure that each blood bag will be used by someone who needs it very much for their health treatment. We can only be grateful and ask you to maintain this path of donation as many depend on you. Thank you very much!”
Additional donation events are scheduled for later in the summer, and we look forward to seeing the program scale. Now more than ever is the time to come together to support those in need. We can see the people of Brazil are doing exactly that, and we are so proud to be able to help make this possible. More importantly, without the caring attitude and selflessness of the citizens involved, the technology would accomplish very little. Human empathy and compassion enable our wireless technology to make the world better, one donation at a time.
 The Red Cross, Blood Needs and Blood Supply https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/how-blood-donations-help/blood-needs-blood-supply.html
 Johns Jopkins University, COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (May 2020), https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
 Wiley Library, Blood Supply Strategies facing a reference Blood Center in Brazil During the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/voxs.12565