The feature allows users to sign up to be blood donors within the “about” section of their profiles and also also also then receive notifications through blood donation centers. The tool comes just in time for summer, a season when blood donations are typically low.
“In 5 US cities, we’re going to put a notice right at the top of News Feed, asking people to register if they want to,” Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
Those cities are Chicago, brand new York, San Francisco, Baltimore and also also also Washington, nevertheless the feature will roll out nationwide within the coming months, according to Facebook.
“Then, if there’s a blood shortage in your city, our partners like the American Red Cross can notify you and also also also give you an opportunity to donate,” she said. “This kind of is actually an opportunity for us, we think, to help people contribute to each different in a way in which’s genuinely important.”
‘This kind of could … change the blood banking system’
at This kind of point, “taking the results in which Facebook has achieved in Brazil and also also also India and also also also Pakistan, we can actually, conceptually, could double the number of blood donors within the United States,” Cliff Numark, senior vice president of the American Red Cross, told Gupta on Tuesday.
“This kind of could genuinely totally change the blood banking system in America,” Numark said.
The blood donation feature hits close to home for Hema Budaraju, Facebook’s health product lead, who has seen the dire need for blood firsthand.
“Seven years ago, my dad was diagnosed using a stage 4 cancer, and also also also he was undergoing extensive chemo,” Budaraju told Gupta on Tuesday.
As part of in which chemotherapy, her father lost a lot of blood and also also also needed transfusions daily for more than a week.
“We needed to go and also also also find the donors,” Budaraju said. Many of those donors ended up being friends and also also also relatives.
“Here within the United States, every two seconds, somebody needs blood,” she said. “The not bad news is actually in which people are always willing to help. If you ask them, they’ll come by.”
The US blood donation feature is actually Facebook’s latest move to use its platform for public health efforts.