It seems like everything is now being powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). In healthcare, we have AI-assisted robotic surgery, virtual nursing assistants, and even AI-powered analysis of 3D scans. While AI is continuously evolving to take on more human capabilities, at the end of the day, robots cannot donate blood, no matter how much they evolve. The only way we can increase the blood supply is by having more human donors come and donate blood.
The American Red Cross published the following statistics for Blood Donation (https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/how-blood-donations-help/blood-needs-blood-supply.html):
- In the United States, someone is in need of blood every two seconds.
- Less than 38% of the population is eligible to donate blood.
- Only 7% of people in the United States have the universal O negative blood type.
- The Red Cross holds about 500 blood drives every day!
According to the New York Blood Center, fewer than 10% of the eligible population donates. In June 2018, the New York Blood Center declared a state of emergency (https://nybloodcenter.org/news/articles/new-york-blood-center-declares-blood-emergency-new-york-area/), declaring that in order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually replenished. They said, “Right now, reserves are below that minimum.”
How can we leverage AI to not only increase the available blood supply but perhaps to also target what kind of blood we solicit? After all, it would be a colossal waste if a majority of donors, that came in as a result of a blood drive, donated A positive when the blood banks desperately needed B negative.
Regional blood centers have a database of donors, which contains their blood type, email addresses, and phone numbers. Blood centers can leverage an AI-powered CRM solution that will continuously monitor existing blood supply levels. As soon as a specific blood type (e.g., O-Negative) falls below a preset threshold, it will target people on the donor list who have that blood type, and use UIB’s UnificationEngine® to blast out notifications to them on every available messaging channel. People will receive messages via text, email, Facebook Messenger, Twitter DMs, WhatsApp, and more. UnificationEngine can notify the donor list in groups so as not to overwhelm blood centers.
If you are a prospective donor that receives a message and you reply with, “I’d like to book an appointment for next Thursday at 1:00 p.m.,” the AI-powered CRM will use Natural Language Processing to translate the instructions, book your appointment, and message back your confirmation, “Your appointment has been booked for Thursday at 1:00 p.m. Please click HERE to add this appointment to your calendar.”
Let’s take it one step further. Suppose there is a disaster, and a lot of people are hurt and in desperate need of blood. While the regional blood centers may still have an ample supply of all blood types, AI will calculate that blood is being consumed at a much faster rate than normal, and switch strategies to not only solicit potential blood donors for each specific blood type based on their remaining inventory levels but start a campaign to solicit as much of the needed blood types, including the universal O-Negative blood type as it can. The reason being, it recognizes that there is currently a state of emergency based on the velocity of consumption, and it anticipates a much greater demand than usual. The AI may even look into reports from the local media to determine if there is an actual disaster, versus just a higher than usual demand, and make its decision on how many donors to solicit from, accordingly.
In conclusion, AI is establishing itself in every area of our lives. While it’s doubtful that robots will be donating blood in our lifetime, AI can certainly help us receive blood from human donors much more efficiently than we can today.
My question for you is, where do you see AI innovating in healthcare?
About the Author
Avrohom comes from a 20+ year career in Telecom, where he helped businesses around the world install and maintain their communication systems and contact centers. He is a top-ranked global IoT expert by Postscapes.com, followed worldwide on Twitter, and a frequent speaker on using technology to accelerate revenue growth.
Listen to him share the latest technology trends, tools, and best practices, on #AskTheCEO — broadcasted on YouTube, with all shows available on iTunes and SoundCloud.