Giving Life the High-Tech Way

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, according to the American Red Cross. But only 5 percent of the eligible population donates blood...
by | April 6, 2008

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, according to the American Red Cross. But only 5 percent of the eligible population donates blood in any given year. In an effort to draw more people in, the Indiana Blood Center recently introduced two new high-tech measures it hopes will streamline the donating process and make it more enticing. The first was the launch of DonorPoint, an online portal that allows registered donors to schedule appointments, check their cholesterol levels, monitor their profiles and save up donation points to redeem for awards that include gifts like pedometers, USB flash drives and stadium blankets, and for frequent donors premier concert tickets and elite access to special promotions. The second measure is the implementation of fingerprint scanning to identify donors. The technology better protects a donor's privacy by allowing their records to be tracked without using social security numbers, and it reduces the chance of duplication ensuring a safe, constant and stable blood supply. To register, donors simply present photo identification, scan their fingerprints and answer several questions. Once in the system, donors need merely scan their fingerprint each time they donate.