Red Cross launches blood donation app

By Aditi Pai

American Red Cross Blood DonationAmerican Red Cross has launched a blood donor app that makes it easier for people to track their blood donations and schedule new ones. The app is available on iOS and Android devices.

“As the nation’s single largest supplier of blood and blood products, the Red Cross is uniquely positioned to bring this cutting edge technology to blood and platelet donors,” Red Cross Biomedical Services President Shaun Gilmore said in a statement. “Every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood, and the Blood Donor App is a new way to help meet that constant need.”

The app, called Blood Donor, helps consumers find Red Cross blood drives nearby, schedule appointments to donate, and earn rewards from premier retailers after donating. Consumers can follow their blood from when it was donated to when it was delivered, when possible, and form or join a team with peers and track their cumulative impact on a national leaderboard. When users schedule an appointment, they can sync that data with their smartphone's calendar.

Blood Donor also helps users take personalized selfies while donating that they can share on social media accounts.

Some partners that are offering rewards for blood donors include Shari’s Berries, ProFlowers, 1A Auto, and Legal Sea Foods. The Red Cross and its partners will also send the donor "thank you" messages through the app. 

The America Red Cross offers several other apps including for first aid, floods, tornados, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, shelter, swimming, and pet safety. In November 2012, during Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross Hurricane App topped 400,00 downloads. Prior to this, MobiHealthNews reported on the growing popularity of Red Cross apps, but the storm was a high point for downloads.

A spokesperson for the Red Cross told MobiHealthNews at the time that the average daily count for Red Cross apps in October 2012 was 369 downloads. The average number of downloads per day between October 25th and October 30th was about 66,000. The peak day for Red Cross app downloads was October 28th, the day before Sandy hit New York City, and Red Cross saw about 144,000 downloads for its apps that day alone.