I recently stumbled upon a start-up company that maintains a mobile application (app) called MBLOOD. Although I am not a marketing enthusiast, I was surprisingly motivated by the objective and ease of functionality of this mobile app. Hence, this post and spreading of awareness. Maybe you’ll be able to contribute to the saving of lives of those who are in need. So, what is this Mobile App?
A not-for-profit, MBLOOD (as it is called) is an application platform that enables location-based search for the blood donors with the objective to provide prompt and expeditious access to the required blood units. It is inspired by the successful ‘on-request’ cab model that leverages GPS, unique algorithm and data analysis tools. Primarily, it identifies the right blood donor in the vicinity and provides verified details of the ‘willing’ blood donors to the requestor.
Currently, it enjoys a strong user base of approximately 27,000 users and lists over 2100 registered and verified blood banks across India. Till date, more than 1000 blood units have admittedly been donated via the said app since its launch in January 2018, out of which close to 60% requests were received from semi-urban and rural areas. This marks an astounding achievement for a startup aiming to save lives. Presently, it has raised INR 50 lacs (US$ 75,035.65) in funding to expand its services to a network of 1 million users.
In the developing nation of India, where the timely availability of fresh blood is a gargantuan task of a considerable hassle, there exists a severe shortage wherein only 9.9 million units of fresh blood is collected against the annual demand of 10-12 million blood units (estimated). In fact, as per the statistics produced by World Health Organisation (WHO), 1 out of every 10 people admitted to a hospital direly requisite blood. In the current times of technological advancement, people seek multiple channels to obtain the requisite blood type/ units which include contacting blood banks, family members, friends, or reaching out on social media platforms. However, defining factors such as unavailability of a blood type or quantity of units; logistical & infrastructural limitations; and the absence of awareness on part of donor and/or requestor often leads to alarming delays causing trauma and stress.
Notwithstanding the aforesaid, procuring blood through traditional and corporate ways tend to be a costly affair with each unit of blood costing approx. INR 2000/- making it difficult for a common man to afford it. Even the blood stored in banks come with an expiry date, which results in an annual discarding of over 1 million units of blood in India. (Statistics by Ministry of Health).
The App attempts to address these challenges by providing multiple options on its platform to ensure smooth transient and timely access of required blood type/units to the user/requestor within a click of a button, in or around the specified location. The user can specify a timeline within which the blood is required, therefore, highlighting the urgency of request placed.
It further aims to create one of the largest online network of blood donors in India, connecting the rural and urban areas alike. The increase in the availability of live blood donors within the vicinity can bridge the gap between donors and acceptors significantly, resulting in reduced cost of procurement and wastage of blood units.
The privacy of the registered users is maintained, ensuring that the details of the donor are not shared with the requestor unless explicitly permitted. Furthermore, once a user donates blood, the same is not contacted for the next 3 months. This ensures a safe and seamless streamlining of its services.
It also provides a unique ‘community code’ to the registered corporates, NGOs & organizations to notify them when a request is raised within their group(s). This enhances the willingness of a blood donor to help a fellow member and facilitates the speeding up of an overall process. The app also supports free listings of ‘Blood camps’ & notifies users within a radius of 20kms.