An App to Save Lives - the Finnish Red Cross Blood Services

Digital service for blood donors, to help the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service reach more donors, activate target groups, and to make donating blood easier.

An App to Save Lives - the Finnish Red Cross Blood Services

Every day, new blood supplies are urgently needed in hospitals and emergency rooms. By donating blood, everyone can potentially be a life-saver. The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service has been looking to reach new donors and chose Hellon to create a solution - the Veripalvelu mobile app.

Within its first week of launch, the app got tens of thousands of downloads and excellent reviews, demonstrating its immediate impact.

Ensuring by activating and engaging

The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service's strategic goal is to ensure an even amount of donors and avoid gaps in their supply chain by engaging and making donating regular.

The challenge is the availability of specific blood types and the continuous activation of donors, as well as the predictability of blood donation, to ensure ongoing operational reliability. The Blood Service informs about blood donation through social media and various communication campaigns, but in addition to these, the Blood Service sought new ways to reach and activate both old and new blood donors for regular donation.

To achieve these goals, the Blood Service started developing a new digital service for blood donors together with a multidisciplinary team of business strategy, service design, and software development experts from Hellon.

Our goals in the project:

  • To improve the flow of information in major disaster situations and other exceptional circumstances.
  • To make a new digital service for the Blood Service, creating new value for donors and the organization and fostering a steady increase in donors.
  • To ensure an excellent experience for donors regarding usability and features of the digital service, reaching both current and potential donors.
  • To offer the donors an opportunity to track their own donations and see, for example, their next possible donation date and blood type information.
  • To automate and develop processes of Blood Service operations.
  • To complement the Blood Service's own digital development teams’ expertise as needed and bring new perspectives and data analytics to successful application development.

“The robust design and technical proficiency of Hellon have been impressive.”

- Johannes Siikonen, Head Of Design, Product Manager
The Finnish Red Cross, Blood Service
Creating Customer Understanding with Collaboration

The challenge was approached through participatory means - both blood donors and experts from the Blood Service were involved in co-design meetings and interviews to understand objectives, needs, and challenges. In addition, workshops and brainstorming sessions were utilized during the project, where blood donors and experts had the opportunity to share their views together with the project team.

  • Motivation and meaningfulness: People most often seek to donate blood out of a desire to help. Some donors were motivated by the act of donating itself, while others needed more visible thanks and encouragement, as well as information about where their help ended up.

  • Personalized guidance: Donors wanted individual instructions and guidance, as well as regular reminders for blood donation. This keeps donors up-to-date and integrates blood donation into their daily lives.

  • Clarity and accessibility: Donors valued clear and regular communication about the importance of blood donation, the process, any possible changes, and the need for blood. This helps maintain trust and commitment to the service.

  • Independence and personal donation plan: People want to define their own blood donation plan.

Creating an effortless customer experience

Our responsibility is the entirety of the new digital service, from design to implementation and release. The project began with two design sprints, focusing on the app's key features, design, architecture, and security. This collaborative phase laid the groundwork for our prioritized product backlog. As the development unfolded, the team embraced agile methodologies, adapting the backlog to evolving project needs and ensuring the app met both client and user expectations efficiently.

“Starting a project from scratch is always super fun for the whole team, from UX designers to techies. We all get to chip in together with the customer on how the app should behave and what are the primary features, as well as defining the overall architecture, data flows and what are the security safeguards at each stage.”

- Mikko Levonmaa, CTO, Hellon

What skills were included?:

  • Strategic and digital transformation Design
  • Service Design
  • UX/UI Design
  • Software Development (Flutter, Typescript, Bicep)
  • Azure Cloud Infrastructure
  • DevOps

Aiming to reach new target groups that are underrepresented among donors, the mobile application has a central role in the donor's journey, making the customer experience more straightforward and effortless for the donors.

"Having a multitalented team is definitely an advantage for an organization to enhance service development quality, efficiency, and innovativeness by bringing together diverse skillset for problem-solving."

- Laura Lerkkanen, CX Strategist, Hellon

After the launch, our team has continued developing and maintaining the service in production. Our team has also been responsible for integrating the application with the client's backend systems and other systems linked to the service.

Digital service for life-savers

As a result of the collaboration of a multidisciplinary team and the client, we launched Veripalvelu mobile application on October 23, 2023 for iOS and Android devices. Within a week from the launch, the app had over 23 000 downloads and was topping the App Store charts, with great user reviews.

End-user review comments:

“Long awaited! Finally, an easy way to track when you can donate again.”

"EXCELLENT!!! Great to see my own hb (hemoglobin) values and visits, and I just filled out the health questionnaire through this for today's donation! 5/5! 😍“

"This has been anticipated, really good. Easy to check when the next donation is."

"This has been anticipated, really good. Easy to check when the next donation is."

- End-user of the app

During this collaboration, our team of experts from Hellon and Graend by Hellon convinced the client with our mobile app development and user experience design skills, and will continue as long-term product development partners for the new the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service’s donor application.

“The collaboration has been effortless, with open communication and smooth project tracking from a Product Manager's perspective. The professionals at Hellon and Graend by Hellon don’t just operate at a theoretical design-technical jargon level but also effectively translate concepts into practical applications.

Their skill in comprehending complex entities is exceptionally mature compared to many other consultants I've worked with over the years. They approach things from many different perspectives, utilizing data and design methods, thus ensuring we always focus on the right things at the right time during different project phases. Our collaboration so far has been extremely fruitful, and I can confidently say that we are fortunate to have chosen them as our partners for our project. Hopefully, our collaboration will continue for a long time.

- Johannes Siikonen, Head Of Design, Product Manager, The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service

The professionals at Hellon don’t just operate at a theoretical design-technical jargon level but also effectively translate concepts into practical applications.

- Johannes Siikonen, Head Of Design, Product Manager
The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service

Currently, the app is available only in Finnish. Download it, and save lives:

Interested in how we can transform your organization's digital experience?

Contact us to explore what life-changing solutions we can create together!

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