- Mixed reality offers donors an innovative, immersive digital
experience while giving blood
- The Abbott technology is one of the first-ever,
consumer-focused mixed reality applications completely controlled
through eye tracking
- Innovation aims to improve the experience and attract new,
younger blood donors by adding an element of high-tech mixed
VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott (NYSE:
ABT) and Blood Centers of America are unveiling an innovative new
mixed reality experience for use during blood donation.
The mixed reality technology is an immersive digital experience
designed to improve the blood donation process, attract new donors
and motivate a younger generation to give blood. The effort intends
to address the global challenge of sustaining a reliable blood
"This innovative use of mixed reality is the most recent example
of how Abbott is creating leading-edge technology to address a key
health care need in the world – maintaining the blood supply," said
Alex Carterson, divisional vice president, medical, scientific and
clinical affairs, Abbott. "Not only is it an immersive and unique
use of mixed reality controlled completely through eye tracking,
it's a high-tech and creative way to improve the donation
experience and make it more appealing for people to
The mixed reality experience allows blood donation professionals
to safely conduct the donation and interact with donors at every
step of the process. Donors' eyes are always visible during
donation to ensure constant monitoring and evaluation. Participants
wear lightweight mixed reality headsets to enter a digital world
but remain fully aware of their surroundings, ensuring a seamless,
convenient and safe donation.
Abbott, a global leader in screening blood and plasma, is
partnering with Blood Centers of America, the largest blood
supplier network in the U.S., to introduce this new technology
which was first showcased during CES (the Consumer Electronics
Show) in Las Vegas.
The mixed reality experience was designed based on research that
natural settings are the most preferred environment as donors give
blood. Participants visit a whimsical garden while listening to
soothing music, planting seeds that grow into colorful trees and
The experience is currently being piloted on a limited basis at
select Blood Centers of America locations nationwide.
One of the biggest challenges facing the sustainability of our
nation's blood supply over the last decade is the loss of a
significant portion of donors under the age of 30. On average
only 3% of the U.S. population donates blood each year, and a
recent poll of U.S. adults showed that only 15% of
18-to-34-year-olds donated blood in 2020.
"We're always looking for ways to cultivate the next generation
of blood donors and find younger people interested in giving," said
Harpreet K. Sandhu, CEO, Stanford
Blood Center (Palo Alto, Calif.)
and chairperson of Blood Centers of America. "Some people are
hesitant to donate for a variety of reasons or just don't think
about giving blood. Since the need for blood is constant, we're
continually looking for smart new ways that will appeal to people
who have never donated before or may be apprehensive. The mixed
reality experience is a terrific way to get those people interested
in participating. It adds a fun, interactive element to donation
and it's easy and convenient for blood centers to use."
Mixed reality is similar to virtual reality but allows users to
see the real world around them as they immerse themselves in a
digital world, whereas in virtual reality, users only experience
the digital world. The mixed reality journey uses Microsoft
HoloLens 2, the world's first self-contained holographic computer,
enabling hands-free interaction with three-dimensional digital
objects and a library of applications. Donors are offered a quick
tutorial on the headsets and the mixed reality world prior to use.
The headsets can be adjusted for each donor's comfort and are
easily integrated into the donation process.
"At Microsoft, we've seen the impact digital technologies can
have in healthcare – from empowering health team collaboration and
increasing clinician productivity to enhancing the patient
experience," said David C. Rhew,
M.D., global chief medical officer and vice president of
healthcare, Microsoft. "We're pleased to see Abbott embrace mixed
reality to create a positive experience for blood donors and to
encourage the public to donate."
As part of the effort to launch this new technology, BCA and
Abbott are asking people to pledge to donate blood now and sign up
to be notified when the mixed reality experience becomes available
in their local area. To learn more about becoming a regular donor
and pledge to donate, visit bethe1donor.com/CES.
Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more
fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing
technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading
businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices,
nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 113,000 colleagues
serve people in more than 160 countries.
Connect with us at www.abbott.com, on LinkedIn
at www.linkedin.com/company/abbott-/, on Facebook
at www.facebook.com/Abbott and on Twitter
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