March 2016 | 10 weeks module
Illustrator, Sketch, Aftereffects, Principle
Wanted to design solutions in health domain and try understanding the age-old challenge
Mr. Chakradhar Saswade, Dr. Aneesha Sharma
TCS Digital Impact Square, Nashik
The project was one of the challenges listed by TCS as a part of the Smart Nashik initiative. There were various challenges in different themes but I chose this specific challenge to work upon due to the magnitude of the problem and its massive impact on the society. The project was completed in a team of two, one designer (which was me) and other was a student from business school.
Purpose and scope of the project
Each year more than 40 million units of blood are required across India – yet access to information regarding bloodstock availability and blood donation remain far from satisfactory. In a medical emergency, blood is usually a very critical component and a needy citizen should know where they can go to get the blood or how to get access to required quantity of blood quickly.
Nashik is a bustling city of population around 14 lakhs and number of blood banks in the city is thirteen. So ideally, one blood bank should cater to 10 lakh people but the blood banks are not equipped in terms of infrastructure or instruments to serve the purpose.
I started the project with secondary research to understand the magnitude of the problem. I went through reports and statistics, online journals, research papers for a thorough understanding of the subject. Here is the whole ecosystem mapping of the system:
The focus of the research area narrowed down from a national level to city level. There were some shocking findings which really motivated me to build an impactful solution.
We spent the next 3 weeks trying to understand lives of recipients in hospitals, blood bank in-charges and donors. Initial secondary research helped identify some of their responsibilities, tasks and difficulties. We were then introduced to blood bank in-charges from Jankalyan blood bank, Bytco hospital, Arpan blood bank, Nashik blood bank, Jeevan blood bank, Super specialty hospital and Civil hospital who gave some great insights into their daily schedules and challenges.
In the next phase, we decided to shadow donors in blood donation camp to do some observational research and conducted online surveys which were sent out to the around 100 residents of Nashik. The nurses at the hospitals also described their actions and thoughts while we followed them through recipient's rooms. These patients were mainly from the maternity ward.
We went back to our whiteboards and started mapping all our findings from our primary and secondary research. All the findings and insights were analyzed in the form of empathy mapping and affinity mapping. These exercises helped us find out gaps and opportunities according to process, people, technology, policy and communication.
Before we start with the detailed understanding of our findings and insights, we wanted to know all the possible stakeholders who are affected in some way or the other.
We divided the stakeholders into the core, direct and indirect.
The core are the ones for which the solution would be targetted and they are: Recipients, Donors, Blood bank
Here are some of the key findings and insights from the process followed above:
SCENARIO IN BLOOD BANK
The gap between the demand and supply of blood is consistently increasing over the years.
Following are the deficit percentage value from 2010 till 2015, we tried to map the data of supply and demand of the blood for the year 2011 and focussed in detail on the supply of the blood for that year:
Something interesting showed up when we mapped these data. The demand of blood has been significantly high in the months of June and October which was due to monsoons and rise of dengue.
From this data, it is clear that the collection of blood from camps are more during the winter months of the year i.e. Jan and Dec. On the other hand, the collection of blood from walk-in donations is always less throughout the year except for May when it exceeds the collection from camps.
This compares the demand for blood in a particular blood bank over the period of 6 weeks with the collection of blood through camps during that time frame.
1. There is a sudden rise in the demand graph on the date 29th Feb where the blood was used in the maternity ward. This might be because it was a unique date to give birth.
2. Since blood has a fixed shelf life of 35 days, from the 152 blood units collected, 31 units go to waste even if there was a high demand during that time. This could be because of no proper planning of the camps.
3. If these 31 units of blood were utilized, it would have created a lot of impacts in terms of money and lives.
After the primary research, we found some new learnings about blood bank:
1. The blood bank is unable to maintain a supply of blood at the time of seasonal high demand of blood
2. Reducing the wastage of the blood is very difficult especially during the oversupply season.
3. The human error leading to fatalities.
4. No proper channel to contact other blood banks and hospitals for transferring blood
5. Securing donation campsite is a competition and no addition of new camps
6. No timely payment from the hospitals and no-one to contact
We conducted online surveys and interviewed donors to understand the barrier preventing people from a potentially life-saving donation. Around 100 residents of Nashik participated in this and following are the outcomes:
Online surveys and Questionnaires
Journey Mapping of Persona
New insights and pain points of the donors were discovered by mapping the donor journey from the point where the donor starts travelling to donate till the time he/she returns.
Following are some insights about donors that were discovered from the above exercises:
1. General lack of knowledge about the process and demand
2. No prior information on upcoming donation camps.
3. Fear of rejection at the campsite
4. Unable to keep a track on the donation dates
5. Distance and time are major constraints
6. No post donation follow up
This is the process followed when a recipient needs blood and his/her family or friends approach any blood bank. They eventually end up paying high price for the blood or have to find replacement donors
Following are some gaps in this process:
1. Rely on the hospitals to find the blood bags
2. No unified source of information on availability of blood
3. No real-time tracking of the donor
4. Lack of awareness in the process of issuing
5. Difficulty in finding donors leading to high anxiety
At this stage, based on the research findings, we found opportunity areas according to the stakeholders:
How might we enhance the experience of donors in order to retain them?
How might we achieve a balance between shortages and wastages of blood?
How might we ensure supply of blood at time of emergency in least time, effort and cost ?
We tried to look at existing solutions in the market which addressed similar problems. It helped us to understand their benefits and failures. Some of the competitors in the market are:
Analyzing all the features, we found a better approach to this problem. Even though all of these provided good services but they failed in some way. It was because they were only catering to one section of the chain.
So we thought of a holistic service solution which will connect all the three stakeholders. The solution would be like an enterprise product owned by blood bank who are connected to both recipients and donors. It would have three subsystems to it where each would have some goal to fulfill.
1. Between donor and blood bank - Seamless Blood donation system with doorstep donation service.
2. Within blood bank - Smart Inventory Management System with effective distribution of donation camps using prediction tool
3. Between recipients and blood bank - Emergency Request Service for the recipient
These products have various touchpoints between the stakeholders. The following shows the communication channels:
Solution in details
We conceptualized and designed all the three subsystems and took user feedback, it was only the second subsystem (within blood bank) which seemed to click with the stakeholders and showed promising results in terms of feasibility, impact it created and business.
Solution 2: Smart Inventory Management System with effective distribution of donation camps using prediction tool
This system would work based on this prediction tool which would have following input and output parameters:
Following are some of the solution features:
1. Prediction tool for future demand patterns based on the historical data of demands
2. Set the minimum stock requirement of each blood group for that month
3. Alert message sent to the blood bank in-charge about the shortage of any blood type
4. Using predictive tool to generate dates for donation camps and number of bags of each blood group to be collected
5. Decide the location of camps by visualizing the donation made in the past and blood group type on city map
6. Facilitate the communication between the camp organizer and on-site organizer
7. Pre-expiration (15 days prior) alert message sent to the in-charge
8. Co-ordination between blood banks and hospitals to manage the excess stock in time
9. Alert messages to the regular or registered donor and colleges/industries near campsite
10. Multiple user login feature available
When the solution is in place, the scenario is imagined in the form of the storyboards.
WIREFRAMES OF WEB PORTAL
Following are some of the wireframes designed for the web portal to be used by the blood bank in-charges mainly Inventory in-charge and Camp organizer. It includes the above-mentioned features.
Final UI Design
This is the dashboard of the portal when inventory in-charge logs in. He can navigate to Inventory, Tool, Request etc. as per his needs by clicking on the left side menu bar.
This page shows the Minimum level to be maintained for each blood type, units used and available, month-wise stock can be checked.
Prediction Tool Page
This page shows the future trends in terms of demand and supply of blood for the next 1 or 3 or 6 months. The in-charge can also set the minimum stock level according to the predictions.
This page shows the status and details of incoming requests from hospitals or outgoing requests to transfer excess blood bag.
Request for transfer Page
This is the message page for the camp organizer portal. Here he/she can view the messages sent by the inventory in-charge, on-site organizer etc. and take actions accordingly.
Camp date generator tool
This tool can predict the future dates for camps and at the ideal locations so as to avoid shortage and wastage. The heat map of the city based on past collection and blood group types helps in deciding the appropriate location and time.
Camp date generator tool
This is the heat map of the city based on the blood group type who are residing in the location.
Impact of solution
Once the solution is executed, these are the impacts that it would create:
Note: This project and these solutions has been approved by the city council of Nashik and is currently in execution and growth phase. If you want to know more about the other solutions (phase 1 and phase 3) which were tried out but not implemented then please reach out to me for more details.