SEATTLE, WA, United States – “People often ask ‘what does mobile do, apart from Angry Birds?’,” says David O’Neill, whose company Viafo created Blood Sprint.
“We wanted to create an app that fulfils a genuine social need that is uniquely serviced by mobile.”
Blood Sprint is an app and a service for improving blood donation services.
The need is acute. To service an area like Seattle, for example, with three-four million people living in and around it, around quarter of a million active blood donors are needed every year.
Things get even more complicated because certain procedures, such as heart bypass surgery, require fresh blood – any more than a month old, and it’s no good for the operation.
The origins of the app are something we’re quite proud of. The original idea, for a social network for blood donors, came from the Ideas Project Apps for Change challenge. The first prototype of the app was created at the Nokia World Hackathon in October.
There are actually two sides to Blood Sprint. There’s a web service that hospitals and health authorities sign up for. Here they can post their current needs and any special drives for blood donations.
Donors have a mobile app that is aware of their location. They just need an email address and their blood type to sign up. If their blood type and a local need coincide, then they get an alert through the app.
You can also share alerts with social networks. If an appeal for a blood type other than yours comes up, for example, you can post that alert to your Facebook and Twitter accounts at the click of a button.
In a collaboration with Foursquare, you can also check in to blood donation locations and special badges for donors have been created. O’Neill wanted to make it more fun to give blood and notes that if friends see you’ve given blood then they are more likely to do the same themselves.
The app is just about to go live on Windows Phone Marketplace. There are also Symbian and Series 40 versions. Because this service needs to be truly universal in order to be effective, the team is also creating iPhone and Android versions.
The team at Viafo aim to spin off Blood Sprint as a social venture this coming spring. Keep an eye on bloodsprint.com for news of the app’s availability.
image credit: makelessnoise