A ‘smart’ prop for e-blood bank

Friends2Support.org, one of the largest online blood banks in the country, has become more accessible to the tech-savvy with the introduction of smartphone applications.

The mobile applications of the website won the United Nations Millennium Development Goals World Summit Youth Award in Colombo in November last year.

Five friends launched the webside in Hyderabad eight years ago. However, the idea to exploit the smartphone possibilities came from an outsider who read about the organisation over a year ago.

Jayanth Justin, an employee at Infosys here, had taken a year off after graduating and was mulling over projects as part of an Android course he was taking when the website caught his attention.

“I thought it made sense to popularise its work considering most young people own smartphones and are more likely to donate,” he said.

He sent S.K. Shareef, its founder, an email and got an immediate positive response. It has been a year since the application was introduced containing information about over a lakh registered blood donors across the country.

The app significantly eases the tracking down of a blood group donor. The page only asks for the group that is sought (even the rarest of rare ‘Bombay Blood Group’) and the location of the recipient. It then provides a list of people in that area with matching blood group, along with their phone number and whether they are available. Jayanth, himself with the relatively rare blood type of A-ve, knows the importance of putting on a public forum a volunteer ready to help. He developed the Android app, which was followed suit by Windows, iOS and Java by developers in Bangalore, New Delhi, and Hyderabad.

Friends2Support mobile app won the award under the WSYA’s ‘Fight Poverty, Hunger and Disease’ category.

“An issue that came up was that volunteers often fail to update their status and mobile phone. The app will soon have a blood request feature as well, similar to the website,” said Jayanth.



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