New App Launched To Boost Blood Donations From Millennials

Sep 20, 2018

Lane Bloodworks, a non-profit blood service in Eugene, is rolling out a new app today that’s intended to increase blood donations from millennials.

Bill Harper (left), spokesman for Degree 37 with Annette Casper (right), area manager for Lane Bloodworks in Eugene.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

A study from transfusion group AABB shows that 60 percent of donated blood comes from people 40 or older. 

Bill Harper, with tech company Degree 37 says it’s not that millennials like him don’t care…

“...a lot of people in the millennial generation don’t exactly know how because blood banks are not communicating with them in mediums they prefer. And frequent.”

A Lane Blood Center technican preps a blood donor.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Traditional blood donors respond to phone calls and mail. Millennials prefer texts and social media. Harper describes how the new Bloodworks Northwest App works.

“Users of the app will be able to make appointments for donating blood," says Harper. "Find locations of blood drives near where they live or where they work.

"They’ll be able to know in the palm of their hand their blood type, the number of units they’ve donated, including the number people they’ve impacted.”

For Harper, this push for greater blood donations is personal. Since his leukemia diagnosis eight years ago, he’s received 267 transfusions. 

WEB EXTRA: See an explantory video on how the Bloodworks Northwest App works:

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The Bloodworks Northwest app helps donors know of blood drives near their office or home, reminds them of appointments, and also tracks their donations and number of people who benefited.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Need millennials to donate more blood? As the saying goes, there’s an app for that.

Tech developer Degree 37 has created Bloodworks Northwest, which is being rolled out today by Lane Bloodworks in Eugene. 

Area manager Annette Casper says the app uses texts and reminders in ways that millennials respond to better than older generations. She adds about 60 percent of blood donations come from people aged 40 or older.

“That’s been a major concern," she tells KLCC. "And I think this is why this app is so critical and important.  That it provides that mechanism for that younger generation. That we’re communicating to them in the way that they want to be communicated to.

In this screenshot of the Bloodworks Northwest App, users can track their donations and see what kind of impact they're donated blood, plasma, or platelets are having.
Credit Degree 37

"And it will give them motivation that they need to pick up that torch as the traditional donors start to age out.” 

App users can find blood drives near their home or office, as well as tracking how much blood they give and the number of people helped by their donation.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.