The Rise of Apps: Applicability for Blood Donors?
Given the rapid increase and widespread use of apps, it seems inevitable that there will soon be an app that caters to almost everything, including blood donation. At the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program, we are interested in the potential for a blood donor app to make scheduling appointments and managing donations easier for our donors.
The Blood Donor Program at the University of California, Los Angeles recently conducted a study published in Transfusion to determine the readiness and interest level of more than 900 ethnically diverse respondents of various age groups.
Among the respondents, 87.3 percent had ready access to smart phones. Email was chosen by 62.1 percent as the currently preferred method when contacted by the blood center, followed by texting (10.1%). The app features desired by most respondents were the abilities to request appointments 24/7 (76.5%) and to receive appointment confirmations quickly (81.3%). Many were concerned about receiving too many alerts or messages (64.1%) or insufficient protection for personal information (53.5%).
Overall, 67.7 percent of respondents indicated that they were likely to use a blood donation mobile app. Likelihood was not significantly different by sex or ethnicity, and the impact of education level was limited. Donors who currently made donation appointments via telephone or a website were equally likely to use such an app. However, donors older than 45 years were less likely than younger donors and donors with more than five lifetime donations were more likely than less frequent donors to use such an app. In summary, in metropolitan areas, donors are very receptive to using a mobile app to manage their donations.
Would you use an app to schedule and manage your donations?