This is discussion about SMS Now! A Life Depends on it..
Dear Mr Poacha,
First of all, let me commend you on a great idea.
Could you clarify if you send information on nearby blood banks or individual donors nearby? Do you have a list of people who register with you as a volunteer blood donor?
We connect Needy Patients with blood donors in Real time. A Patients or his relative who needs blood donors has to send an SMS in the following format.
When you need blood donors in your city.
DONOR (Std Code) (Blood Group) to 09665500000
Immediately our System give the Donors Number , Name to the Patient and the Patients Number is SMSed to the Donors. They can then coordinate with each other and the blood donation is made. If the Patients needs another donor he SMSes again.
In Metros we have an option where a Patient can seach for donors in his area , so that it is easy for the donors to commute. They can do that by sending an SMS in the following format.
DONOR PIN (Six Digit Postal Pin Code) (Blood Group) to 09665500000
Voluntory Blood Donors who wish to donate blood register with us via SMS. They can do so by sending an SMS in the following format.
Blood (Std Code) (Blood Group) to 09665500000
We will shortly start online blood donors registration also.
This is really a fantastic initiative and one that has already proven much success. I am interested in your long term plans for sustainability. You have achieved a great deal of social impact on a limited budget and relying on word of mouth spreading of the opportunity. Do you have plans for long-term sustainability? Are you pursuing or interested in partnerships with organizations that are benefiting from your work?
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Thank you so much for your kind words and appreciating our work.
We do wish to have partnerships with organisations who are benefitting from our work. But how ? We are yet to figure it out to be honest. We are working on it and we have taken a step forward recently.
We think we will use their services to create awareness in hospitals and Blood Banks where there is a need. We also want them to create awareness about the helpline where they can motivate blood donors to register on our helpline.
We have been doing both these activities on our own since the last 12 years.
Sustainability is a question which I has been asked many times. We have been easily able to sustain ourselves. When we were working through the web only we did not have much of an expenditure. But now as we are mobile enabled we do have bills to pay. SMSes will be a major expenditure in the years to come.
We have an option to tie up with mobile operators or Short Code operators where the sms cost is taken care of but it has problems of its own. We are completely dependent on them which we dont want to be.
We are now forming a Trust / Organisation. We have been working as individuals all these years. We would not have made an organisation but to have partnerships we need to have one. To start with we have won a Changemakers award worth $ 10,000. We have made a deposit and use the interest to sustain our helpline. We have never asked for donations like most NGOs do. As our requriements have not been much.
As IBD has been a success and we do get a lot of requests from other countries, we are now working on a global helpline.
Do let us know if you have any suggestions for us. We like to learn.
Commendable project, and congratulations on being a finalist!
I have a question about barriers. You state there are none, and this seems overly optimistic. Do any of your donors have their blood tested for blood borne diseases? Might concern over contaminated transfusions affect people's willingness to donate, or receive donations from a stranger? Or are these steps taken by each blood bank, and thus are concerns irrelevant to the SMS system you're building? Similarly, if there is an acute shortage of donors, might there be public stigmas against donating, or fear regarding donating? How are you addressing this societal condition that causes shortages in the first place?
Whenever blood is donated. It is tested for Hiv, AIDS and all other tests. Only after it is tested is the blood issued to a patient. And so these concerns are irrelevant to the SMS system. My aim is to create helplines to which people can turn to in times of shortages.
Congratulations on being selected a Finalist in the Making More Health competition! Your innovative and holistic approach is clearly improving the lives of those touched by the program. To help us better understand your project, can you tell us more about any overhead costs you have? Can you provide more details about the blood donor problem in India, perhaps using numbers, so that we can better understand the magnitude of the social benefit your innovation provides?
-The BI Judges Panel
Thank you for your kind words. The cost we have to run this SMS helpline are as follows.
1) SMS Cost - Our Complete system works on sms. That is how we connect the Donors and Patients. So we have a monthly expenditure of SMS. Which is quite nominal.
2) Web Hosting : Our web hosting is sponsored. So we dont have to pay for that.
3) Our Local server : We have a local server which has the SMS Server which connects to the Web Database. This was a one time cost. We have not changed anything in it. Except tweaking repots etc.
4) Other costs : Our other costs our developement costs. For example we now want to make a mobile website where in Patients can access the database of blood donors through the mobile phone and also an IVRS application as we have a feeling that voice also can be a good solution to connect blood donors and patients (but it will be a bit expensive as it has recurring cost). Mobile apps development which can also help.
We have also believed in developing solutions which do not need a lot of money today or in the future. Today any Cell Phone opertor has to just hook on to our database and we dont have anything to pay for . This solution can be implemented anywhere in the world. Cellphone Companies should provide this as a Service to their subscribers.
To know more about the blood problem you can read this article which appeared in a leading magazine in India. India Today a leading magazine in india.
In India and many other countires Hospitals/ Blood Banks ask the patients or their relatives to arrange for blood donors. As there is a perpetual shortage of blood. Blood Banks and many hospitals sell blood at a premium. It is said that there is a shortage of 40% of blood in India. Many patients die for want of blood.
Glad to inform u that ,i have requested my followers on twitter to vote for you!
Dear Alok, Thank you.
I'm totally new to this fantastic site and new innovations in developing countries like India. I was fooled in an immediate open heart surgery and the doctors didn't know my blood group which happened to be B(negative) . And I was asked to get donors and lo behold! Came a site which led me here. I phoned up folks with B(negative) who were too willing to help. Nobody believed it. I'm myself surprised that this was never covered by the media. I must say, India can be proud that it has people like you and your selfless yearn to help others.
The site is massive and great are the people running it.
Kudos to you.