SELISE Junior Software Engineer Yogesh Mongar and his team have created ‘Dial4Blood’, a crowdsourced blood donation application which won the first prize in the Mobile Apps Development Contest hosted by G2C, Bhutan. This winning innovation in the Health and Education category allows users look for blood donors and organise blood donation campaigns.
Blood donation is a crucial part of the Bhutanese healthcare system. In Bhutan, the entire process of blood donation purely depends on unpaid volunteers. Doctors heavily rely on these volunteers to save lives every day. Without these donations, emergency blood transfusions for critical patients are next to impossible. As of yet there is no shortage of volunteers in Bhutan, however, finding the right match at the right time often appears to be more challenging than it should be. Especially when the colleges and universities are closed, as a significant portion of the donors are of young age. Thus a database of all the willing donors can be very useful for the healthcare providers when they are in need for a matching donor in an emergency situation.
In a new initiative to make Bhutan more technology friendly, the Government to Citizen Office (G2C) held a mobile app development contest in May, 2015. Since around 90 percent of the Bhutanese population use mobile phones, the contest aimed to utilize the widely spread Android app platform for the betterment of public services. The contest was open to all adult Bhutanese nationals and they had to submit their ideas within any of the three categories: Youth and women, Public safety and Health and Education. Besides technical soundness, creativity and innovation were the crucial factors in the app development contest. G2C also urged contestants to ensure a match between functionality and usability in their apps.
The idea behind ‘Dial4blood’ was to create a network among the hospital and the donors. In an emergency situation the hospital can send a request for urgent blood donations to matching donors. People willing to donate can easily register on to the network by updating their profile information (age, location, blood group, etc…).
Hospital and blood banks can also organize blood donation campaigns and awareness events via this app. The social media integration ensures that in the case of an urgent donation request or campaigns, details are also available on major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Donors will get push notifications in case of a donation requests which they may answer by tapping on the respond button, if they are willing to donate. The blood bank team will then go through the profile information of all the interested donors and contact the ones in closest proximity.
If a person wants to regularly donate blood to a particular hospital or blood bank, then he can schedule appointments with the help of this android app as well.
‘Dial4blood’ is a companion app for crowdsourced blood donation in the Kingdom of Bhutan. It’s completely free and very easy to use. Thanks to the partnership of G2C and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, who organized this contest and attracted the talented youth such as SELISE Engineer Yogesh Mongar to participate, the people of Bhutan will hopefully no longer face blood shortages in emergency cases.