Every day in Nigeria, 145 women of childbearing age, and another 150 victims of road traffic accidents lose their lives because they could not get a blood transfer. Patients with cancer or sickle cell disease fight an uphill battle daily as they are denied lifesaving transfusions due to health systems having large deficits of available blood.
Project Lend an Arm uses a social strategy called 'herding'; mobile technology, AI and IoT to ensure quick, stable supply of safe blood to patients in need. Our solution integrates point-of-care technologies, drones and conversational AI to ensure donors, patients and hospitals in Nigeria can swiftly access blood anytime, anywhere using any device connected to the internet.
Our solution at Project Lend an Arm is in 3 parts:
- Asake, a virtual robot who is a blood bank porter. Asake is a cognitive virtual assistant built with IBM Watson and Google Dialogflow, deployed to social media. She uses the power of Machine Learning to converse and learn user behavior, attending to blood requests, donor registration, logistic coordination all round the clock. She uses app-to-app communication APIs and IoT principles to automate ordering, donating, paying for, tracking and receiving blood for both donors and for hospitals. Because she does all of this using natural language processing and voice commands, Asake will allow blood banks in Nigeria to truly stay open 24/7 with no need for support staff, just the laboratory scientist who performs the cross match, Asake handles all administrative processes. This is vital, as over 50% of adverse blood transfusion errors are as a result of clerical errors, Asake eliminates these as she handles all logging and recording herself.
- Lend an Arm WebApp: the application allows chats, users (all voluntary donors) can interact, form partnerships and strengthen their mutually shared behavior of blood donation. It can be used to create blood drives; others can be invited to these drives. Users can also join already existing events. This way, donors are more involved. The app sends reminders to donors when they're eligible to donate and shows them the nearest blood drive. This same way, users send out SOS messages to other users when in an emergency need for blood. The Lend an Arm platform stores donor data (biodata, result of viral screen, genotype, blood group; updated at each drive visit). In emergencies (e.g road traffic accidents) when unidentified patients' data is key and cannot be accessed, medical personnel can retrieve it for LAA users.
- The Bloody Dash: – it’s an integrated blood delivery plan utilizing two point-of-care technologies (HemoCue Hb 801 & Erycard 2.0), Internet of Things and beyond-visual-line-of-sight delivery drones to ensure delivery of blood in <30 minutes in emergencies.
Project Lend an Arm is able to connect hospitals, blood banks and donors through the following steps:
- A Doctor at a partner hospital makes a clinical assessment of severe blood loss
- S/he performs a point-of-care Hemoglobin (Hb) quantification using a HemoCue Hb 801 device supplied by us and gets a result instantly. If Hb <6.5g/dL, the device through HemoCue 801 connect, remotely pulls a blood request to our lab via the app OR Asake. This request will require the patient’s blood group to execute.
- The Doctor performs a point-of-care blood grouping using Erycard 2.0 cards we supplied as well and gets a result in 4 minutes then inputs the result, executing the request.
- The request arrives at our lab where our computer (running Netripples Total Blood bank management software) checks for compatible units of blood in the database. The matching blood bag numbers are identified and loaded unto a drone by our staff.
- Delivery drones deliver the blood units to the hospital Total time = <30minutes (over a 20km radius)