Overcoming Fear of Needles: Abbott and Blood Centers of America Develop Groundbreaking Mixed-Reality Blood Donation Experience

Innovative technology aids individuals in conquering fear of blood donation

As the United States faces its most severe blood shortage in two decades, World Blood Donor Day is fast approaching. This year’s observance falls on Friday, highlighting the need for more blood donations. One of the reasons for this shortage is a significant fear of needles among adults, with one in four individuals experiencing this phobia as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fortunately, new technology is emerging to help individuals overcome their fear of needles and encourage blood donation. One such innovation is the mixed-reality blood donation experience developed by Abbott and Blood Centers of America. This groundbreaking technology allows donors to wear a lightweight headset that provides a virtual reality-like experience while still enabling them to see their real-world surroundings.

Maggie Schmidt, a blood donor, shared her experience with this mixed-reality technology in an interview with Spectrum News 1’s Mercedes Williams. Schmidt described how the immersive virtual reality experience helped her remain calm during the blood donation process. The mixed-reality technology used by Abbott and Blood Centers of America aims to promote blood donation by providing donors with a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.

This innovative approach to blood donation has the potential to increase donor participation and contribute to meeting the critical need for blood donations in the United States. As World Blood Donor Day approaches, it is essential to recognize the importance of giving blood and supporting initiatives like mixed-reality technology that help address ongoing blood shortages.

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