New study unveils Mixed Reality Tech for Blood Donation

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A new study conducted by Abbott and Blood Centers of America (BCA) has shown that mixed reality technology helps ease donors’ feelings of anxiety and encourages them to donate blood again. The study found that 68.4% of donors who reported pre-donation anxiety said the use of mixed reality during donation decreased their anxiety levels. Furthermore, 89.2% of donors who tried the mixed reality experience said they were likely to donate blood again in the future. The mixed reality experience allows blood donors to visit a digital world while remaining fully aware of their surroundings.

The study aims to address the global challenge of sustaining a reliable blood supply and attract new donors, particularly from younger generations. Abbott and BCA partnered to launch the mixed reality experience in June 2023, with several donation sites across the US now offering the technology. Donors wear lightweight mixed reality headsets that allow them to interact with a virtual world while still being closely monitored by blood donation professionals.

The pilot study involved 282 blood donors at 54 collection sites. It found that the use of mixed reality helped many donors relax and decrease stress during the blood donation process. The innovation was designed to make the donation experience more engaging and less intimidating, with the aim of attracting more young donors and increasing the frequency of donations overall.

Abbott and BCA continue their efforts to energize younger people to donate blood and cultivate a new generation of blood donors. In 2023, these efforts helped increase blood donations among people aged 16-24 by 11%. The adoption of mixed reality in blood donation is seen as a significant innovation for attracting new donors and increasing the blood supply.

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