Nervous around needles? Mixed reality is here to help.
According to America’s Blood Centers, the United States has been suffering from a noticeable lack of blood donors below the age of 30 over the past 10 years; roughly 30% to be more exact.
To help quell this growing shortage, Abbot Laboratories, a medical device and healthcare company based out of Illinois, United States, has teamed up with Blood Centers of America to release a new mixed reality experience designed to attract younger donors while providing a fun and relaxing experience while in the chair.
Using Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset, donors are immersed in a magical garden where they can plant seeds around their real-world environment while enjoying a comforting soundtrack. Donors remain aware of their surroundings at all times for safety purposes. Medical professionals can also see the donors’ eyes as they draw blood, allowing them to better evaluate their condition in real-time.
“This is an exciting new way to get people interested in donating blood,” said Alex Carterson, divisional vice president of medical, scientific, and clinical affairs at Abbott, in an official release. “Mixed reality introduces a safe, fun dimension to the act of giving blood. We think this will resonate with people who have been hesitant to donate, those who have never donated, and a younger generation who can become the foundation of the nation’s blood donation efforts for years to come.”
“Mixed reality is a fantastic way to attract the next generation of blood donors and find younger people interested in giving,” added Harpreet K. Sandhu, CEO of Stanford Blood Center and chairperson of Blood Centers of America. “The need for blood is constant and we’re continually looking for smart new ways that will appeal to people who have never donated before or may be apprehensive. The mixed reality experience is a terrific way to get those people interested in participating.”
Abbott and Blood Centers of America’s mixed reality donating experience is available at select locations across Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Texas. You can schedule your appointment now over at bethe1donor.com/mixedreality. In order to qualify you will need to meet all the requirements for blood, platelet, or plasma donation.
Feature Image Credit: Abbott Laboratories