Emergency Blood Digital Service
Co - Founder Strategic Design Service Design Interaction Design
How might we enable people to donate blood and respond to urgent needs?
In Greece, less than 50% of the annual needs for blood transfusion are being covered by voluntary blood donations. People who are in need of blood transfusion need to find blood donors from their own social environment since, according to WHO, just 0.65% of Greeks are regular blood donors.
Our goal was to design a sustainable digital platform that will respond in urgent circumstances and relief patients that are searching for blood donors.
Bloode, a social enterprise that aims to increase the percentage of blood donors by technological and educational means. By joining Bloode’s web platform and app the user is able to respond to emergent blood needs, get access to all the information needed about the blood donation process and have real time support.
During the past 3 years, Bloode haw helped more than 7000 patients receive blood transfusion in Greece and has partnered up with 23 multinational companies in order to provide its services and sustain its operations.
Gold Award | Responsible Business Awards 2017
Social Impact Award | Impact HUB Athens
Global Finalist | GSEA by EO Network
Leadership Award | JA Europe
Digital Innovation Award | AUEB
Fellow| Angelopoulos Clinton Global Fellowship
Blood Donation System
In Greece, less than 50% of the annual Blood needs are being covered by volunteer blood donors, as illustrated in the WHO report for Blood Donation, resulting the need to import blood from other European countries as well as rely on replacement donors ( friends and family of the patient ).
On our effort to understand the causes of this problem we realised that it is a mix of insufficient infrastructure and poor leadership from the public authorities responsible for blood donation, as well as a lack of information and public awarenesses resulting to the lack of volunteering culture among young Greeks.
Insights from Blood Donors
In order to understand better why we have such a low percentage when it comes to Blood Donation we interviewed nurses and doctors, veterans Blood Donors and people who have never donated blood. We found out the following meaningful insights:
1. 'Is there a problem?': there is the false believe that there is no problem in Greece, since whenever someone needs Blood a friend will donate, making this the default option. An option that according to WHO is not secure or sustainable.
2. "I don't have time": In order to donate blood, one needs to find one of the few public hospital that are authorized to run blood drives and visit during the few hours that the blood donation department is open.
3. "Will anything change if I donate?": People feel that their action won't change anything and won't have any impact.
4. "I have no trust to the public system": The lack of trust to the public health system has affected peoples' willingness to contribute.
5. "I am not sure if I can give blood or not": There are not info about who can or cannot donate blood and no direct lines of communication.
6. "I am scared": A lot of the eligible donors are not donating since they are scared of the process and stories they heard.
In 2014, Bloode began operating by organizing Blood Drives in universities, municipalities and companies aiming to understand better the people who show up in Blood Drives, the way hospitals operate and gain their trust. At the same time, through Blood Drives, we were able to get in touch with blood donors and doctors, that helped us build a network of people that we can test our service.
Minimum Viable Service
Soon after the first Blood Driver, we launched our website in which volunteers can register as potential donors and people in need for blood could email us in case of an emergency.
First Website, published in 2014
Bloode's app along with a full responsive website launched in early 2017. Through the app, the volunteer could become a part of a vibrant community, get access to any information needed about blood donation and get notified via notifications for any urgent need for Blood.
Mobile Design, Launched in early 2017
Impact Report, Published February 2018
Bloode For Education
Having realized that the main problem in Greece is the lack of awareness and information regarding Blood Donation causing the low percentage of Blood Donors, we decided to approach the volunteers of the future. We designed a board game for blood donation and the need for volunteering, aiming to make Blood Donation familiar from young ages. Surprisingly, although the game was designing for children, an long term impact, we witnessed the power of a children's wish: when kids asked their parents to donate blood, they were more keen on doing so rather than when we, Bloode or any other campaign.
Bloode began by intuition and the skills we had to accomplish it was our passion to change the situation in Greece. When Bloode began, the average age of the team was 18 years old and I found myself leading a team without any idea how to do so. Through a lot or trial and error, many fail attempts and long nights we were able to realize our vision.
The process of how we did things was being designed while we were doing them and influenced by learnings and readings. Years after our first launch, we have illustrated the process for new features and initiatives based on agile and lean methodologies as well as service design practices.
Bloode was conceived as an idea in 2012, after the grandmother of my best friend in high school required an urgent blood donation. The need existed because, in Greece, when somebody is in need of blood, somebody else has to donate on his behalf.
Following that experience, I launched Bloode in 2014, together with my college classmates Alexandros and Panagiotis, firmly believing that “the most important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying, against all odds, even when there seemed to be no hope at all”.