The Socialblood app connects to eight Facebook groups – corresponding to the eight blood types. The 23 year old got the idea when he saw how a call for B+ blood on a Facebook post for a man undergoing heart surgery was responded with offers for blood donation.
The site, which was launched in June, has over 1,500 members, and Naralasetty mentions that his site has helped provide at least ten completed blood donations. Most notably, a man’s post asking for blood for his daughter received 74 responses in 24 hours.
“For my generation, Facebook is the most powerful thing on the planet. India is a country where 50 percent of the Internet population is on Facebook every other day, so I saw potential to reach them directly and make it fun and easy to act,” he said.
Naralasetty initiative to use social media for healthcare has many challenges, but he soon might launch a social media campaign to address social issues relating to blood donation, and solve the problem of blood supply shortages.
In the west, the healthcare industry is stepping up its role on social media in a big way. From disaster preparedness and emergency management to coordinating response efforts and communicating urgent messages, like a call for help after a natural disaster or an accident, organizations like the American Red Cross are tapping into Facebook and Twitter to reach out to the public.
Statistics reveal that
· 36% of healthcare companies use it to assess their consumers views on medication or treatment
· 60 million consumers interact and discuss healthcare online
· 1,200 Facebook pages are dedicated to curing an illness
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