The idea behind ‘Bloodkad’, a digital platform streamlining blood donations, came about when four friends brainstormed for a solution to tackle blood donation problems and mitigate blood shortages in the country.
It was during the AITI CODE OFF Challenge Hackathon in 2015 that they identified the need to create an ecosystem that connects blood donors and blood donation campaigns.
“It is not just about the problem but how to make it (blood donation) more efficient and make more people donate,” said the founder and director of Nextacloud Technologies, Hakim Yakob.
Every potential donor needs to fill in a seven-page written questionnaire and declaration as to the standard screening process prior to donating blood at the Blood Donation Centre and donation drives.
The youth developers decided to digitise the physical form and placed it in the platform, noting that it can be tedious for some to write on the questionnaire booklet, especially for regular donors.
Not only it is less hassle, but the digitised pre-screening questions help to shorten waiting and screening times.
After claiming the second place at the hackathon in 2015, the youth developers extended their idea and proposal to the Department of Laboratory Services at the Ministry of Health.
Fast forward to 2017, the four friends who founded Nextacloud Technologies, released their first version of Bloodkad on both mobile application and website.
Moreover, the app was further realised when the company had the opportunity to partner with the ministry via its Blood Donation Centre (BDC) in Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital.
Nextacloud was offered a pilot project with the ministry, providing in-house blood donation support to BDC – a success case study for Bloodkad.
“When we started our pilot, we gauge with the public on how well the reception in terms of using their mobile phones to answer the pre-screen questions. It was indeed more convenient and that the form was a bit of a push factor,” said Hakim, adding that they, later on, joined donation drives with BDC.
Since its launch, the app which is free for the public has garnered 5,100 donations and 3,300 registered users in three years.
For better user experience, Nextacloud has recently launched its upgraded version of its Bloodkad mobile app with features that allow donors to register and schedule appointments, track their donation records, fill in pre-screening questionnaires and receive notifications on the next blood drive – all at your fingertips.
Furthermore, the company is set to also work with the Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) by October, providing a similar but customised system and services.
“For the blood banks, we provide the system for them where they get access for donors’ personal details and records, administer and monitor activities.
For us, we do analytics for the system and provide them with the statistics on how they can improve the quality of blood donation collection,” said Hakim.
For Agus Muslim, the chief executive officer of Nextacloud Technologies, one of the factors that moved him to develop Bloodkad app was his best friend’s thalassemia diagnosis.
“He needs to have a consistent blood transfusion and there was one time when the bloodstock was low, he was not able to get his treatment. That made me realise if this happens to him, then there are many others who are in need too,” he said.
Agus and his co-founder friends were determined to help ease the shortage of the blood supply in the country by creating an app that is not short-lived but beneficial to the community in the long run.
“Our aim with the app is to merely connect blood donors to blood donation centres and drives, easing the process of donation which in turn mitigates the shortage of bloodstock,” he added.
With the latest version, the CEO hoped to attract the attention of new donors to join in the cause of contributing to the national blood supply and save lives.
Through the app, donors will be able to earn points, unlock badges and redeem rewards, continued Agus.
“Based on the data we have with BDC, the majority of the regular blood donors are the veterans. This is maybe the veterans know the privilege is meaningful for them and one of the privileges is a first-class bed at the hospital which can be passed on to your next of kin. We need to have more young generations to donate blood,” he said.
The company is looking to phase out Bloodkad’s web-based version and to focus solely on the mobile app platform which can be downloaded on both Android and iOs.
“With the mobile app, it helps healthcare agencies to make decisions faster such as identifying the concentration of blood type in an area based on user statistics,” he said, hoping to have more individuals and private agencies to be onboard the initiative.
Agus added that the company hopes to extend Bloodkad to other healthcare centres and agencies outside of Brunei-Muara district as well as outside of Brunei.
“We are keen to spread our wings to other countries in Borneo and we are already in talks with Malaysian statutory body for entrepreneurship. The app can be adapted to other hospitals because the process and procedures are according to the World Health Organization standards,” he concluded.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN