Home English Facebook’s new feature to help connect blood donors with recipients.
Social networking platform Facebook will soon roll out a new feature designed for India, its second largest user base in the world, to make it faster and easier for people, blood banks and hospitals to connect to blood donors when needed.
Under this initiative, starting October 1, Facebook users in India will be able to sign up to become willing blood donors. “All information such as blood group, whether they have donated blood before, among others, will remain private and set to ‘only me’ by default, but people can choose to share their donor status on their timelines,” Hema Budaraju, Product Manager, Health, Facebook said.
“In many countries, including India, there is a shortage of safe blood. There aren’t enough people donating blood to meet the demand of people who need it… in many cases, this leads to patients and their family being responsible for finding donors to replace blood in the blood banks or hospitals,” she pointed out.
“So we spoke to blood banks, large and small hospitals, non-profit organisations, health industry experts, potential donors, and people who have used Facebook to find blood donors to get a complete understanding of the ecosystem and the challenges… to ensure that what we are designing will be useful to people in India,” she said.
Over the next few weeks, the company will enable people and organisations get in touch with the donors in an easier manner. “Individuals and organizations in need of blood will be able to create a special post with information such as time, blood bank or hospital name, contact number and so on,” she explained.
Once a request is created, Facebook will automatically notify blood donors who may be nearby. Donors can then contact the requester directly through WhatsApp, Messenger or a phone call. However, Ms. Budaraju said that donor’s information will not be available to requester unless the donor himself/herself explicitly provides it.
Ms. Budaraju said that there are a lot of activities across social media networks, including Facebook, where there are thousands of posts on weekly basis with people asking for help from potential donors.