Mobile applications for encouraging blood donation: A systematic review and case study


Industrial and Systems Engineering

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Health Promotion and Physical Education

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Objectives: Given the current shortage of blood donors in the USA, researchers have tried to identify different strategies to attract more young people and spread the voice of donors’ needs. Methods: A systematic literature review is conducted to investigate the current mobile applications used to track, attract, and retain donors. We also provide some preliminary results of a pilot study, based on a cross-sectional survey of 952 participants (aged 18 to 39), about the willingness of donors to use mobile apps as tools for encouraging blood donation. The data is collected using a 20-item questionnaire, which includes four constructs of the Theory of Planned Behavior to assess the respondents’ willingness to donate blood. A range of statistical techniques, including univariate analysis, multivariate analysis, and structural equation modeling, were utilized to analyze the collected data. Results: The 37 research articles, selected after applying several exclusion criteria, are classified into five main categories. The majority of the research (44.1%) is about using mobile apps to find blood donors and blood centers, followed by publications on using mobile apps to encourage blood donation (26.4%) and to recruit blood donors (14.7%). The remaining studies are about retaining blood donors (8.8%) and using mobile apps for scheduling donations (5.8%). Our pilot case study suggests that 73% of participants have favorable perceptions toward a blood donation mobile app. Conclusions: Many efforts have been undertaken to employ mobile apps to make blood donations more convenient and create communities around donating blood. The case study findings suggest a high level of readiness of using mobile apps for blood donation among the younger generation.

Journal Title

Digital Health

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Digital Object Identifier (DOI)