Wednesday, May 18, 2022
ADVT 
Darpan Salutes

Log In to Your Social Blood Line

Garima Goswami, Darpan, 07 Jul, 2014
  • Log In to Your Social Blood Line
Technology has conquered every sphere of our lives. Whether it’s the convenience of Google Glass at the corner of your eye or the expediency of a printer that is 3D, printing literally anything from houses to plastic objects, technology is decoding the impossible into phenomenal inventions. Combine all of this, along with the intellect of a human mind that recognized the extraordinary potential of social media and employed it in the utilization of an extensively necessitated requirement across the globe. Karthik Naralasetty’s innovation, Socialblood, is a one-of-a-kind platform for individuals across the globe to get in touch with blood donors and receivers. Working on the lines of a social networking site, Socialblood has emaciated the physical gap between the donor and recipient by virtually aligning them in immediacy online. With the mere click of a button, the site accurately outlines individuals that are in closest proximity to you. To exemplify, if you are sitting in a city in the United States and immediately require blood group O+, Socialblood will connect you with donors that are in the same adjacency as you. Established in 2011, the organization today has 40,000 plus donors spread across 25 nations. With these accomplishing numbers, Socialblood is becoming an active life-saving tool for many across the globe.
 
Coming from Andhra Pradesh, India, Naralasetty studied Computer Science for his bachelor’s degree in New Delhi for two years and then transferred to Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA but later dropped out so he could proceed with an initiative of his own. Soon after coming back to India from the US, Naralasetty created Redcode Informatics, a company that provided web services to start-ups and small businesses. “We realized that building products for someone else is taking up a lot of time, and doing that we felt was not innovative. We pivoted into building our own products and Socialblood was one of the products we’ve built in that process,” Naralasetty says. 
 
While he was in India, Naralasetty read an article about a four-year-old girl suffering from thalassemia, a blood disorder, and required 30 units of blood each month in order to survive. Naralasetty points out that in a country with a population of over a billion, why is it that finding regular blood donors is an uphill task? Shortly after that, Naralasetty came across a Facebook post from a friend, who was requesting blood for his father, and in merely a few hours, his update read ‘Thanks to Facebook, I found a blood donor for my father.’
 
“If so much of the population of India was connected through Facebook and logging in every day, why couldn’t we connect blood donors and recipients on a single platform?” remarks Naralasetty. The answer to the question came in the form of Socialblood.org. 
 
A series of eight Facebook accounts, representing each blood group was created to address the pertaining needs. Though the innovative concept was a success, Naralasetty felt there was need for something more solidified and thus he used Facebook Connect to build a solo platform that “served the purpose of building a network of blood donors.”
 
Living in an age where everyone and anyone is virtually just a few clicks away, it is hard to believe how this health need is not being adequately met or dealt with, be it in developed or developing nations across the globe. “The entire blood donation system is broken. It’s old and archaic and very little has been done to change or fix it for the past 50 years – but it’s not just a problem in India. Many developing countries are also in this situation. But what’s more concerning is that even in developed nations, the rate of voluntary donations is low, and there is always a higher demand of blood donations every day that are not being fulfilled,” states Naralasetty.  
 
His target is clear and precise – map all the blood types of one billion plus Facebook users on Socialblood.org. There is a considerable lack of awareness amongst the youth to donate blood, and in this scenario the best method to approach them is to target the prime location where this population is observed. The organization is leveraging the young and healthy population of Facebook. “Socialblood aims to be a network for the donors, where it is easy to donate blood, where users are gratified for their efforts, where we are working towards making donating blood a pleasant and a pampered experience.” 
 
However owing to the vastness of the blood bank industry, Socialblood has not been able to pace as swiftly as Naralasetty expected. On a positive note however, the organization is receiving notice from blood banking communities and most of these banks have approached them for partnerships. “We are focused towards finding solutions and building an ecosystem, where blood centers and hospitals benefit from the technology we build.”
 
The year is significant for Naralasetty with the launch of an updated platform in a couple of months. He is also in the process of signing up big brands to reward blood donors with rewards every time they donate blood. But that is just a drop in an ocean for Naralasetty, who envisages on echoing the necessity and relevance of donating blood. For a myriad of donors out there, Socialblood serves as the perfect platform allowing them to serve their social obligation in a neat and hassle free social environment. So what’s stopping you from creating your profile on Socialblood.org?

MORE Darpan Salutes ARTICLES

Govind Singh Rathore : Leading Women's Empowerment

Govind Singh Rathore : Leading Women's Empowerment

Rathore’s organization has provided copious opportunities for the less privileged women and children in his city to grow, learn and become independent

Anand Kumar: Changing Lives Through Education

Anand Kumar: Changing Lives Through Education

Distinguished mathematician Anand Kumar has been working with individuals from underprivileged families to make the best of their career with his amazing social initiative

Chhavi Rajawat, Surging Grassroots Development

Chhavi Rajawat, Surging Grassroots Development

Shedding her creditable corporate figure behind, Chhavi Rajawat acquired the significant position of Sarpanch and procured drastic development at the grassroots level in her village