Finnish Red Cross Blood Service

In addition to all the activities the Red Cross organization operates in every country, one of the major functions of the Finnish Red Cross is running the nationwide process of blood donations as the sole operator in Finland. The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service (FRCBS) is not running a business and the donators are not paid for the donation. To donate is to save a life. However, this makes it a bit more complex to ensure that enough blood is available for the medical needs.

Last year there were 200.822 donations from 144.353 persons with 14,8% of them donating for the very first time. FRCBS works tirelessly to make sure people understand the need for blood donations and contribute to the common cause. One of the ways to succeed is to make the donation as effortless as possible. This includes bringing the donation possibility to where the people are, instead of asking them to visit the FRCBS. 47% of all the donations were performed in a temporary location as the FRCBS visited an event, school, garrison, or a place of business to enable donating with convenience. thousands of devices with the same tool.

With a visit by a donor taking just minutes and the whole setup just a few hours, it becomes somewhat challenging to ensure that connectivity can be organized, works instantly and is reliable enough for such a medical operation. The operation relies on several backend systems that handle the recording of the donor and the blood data, logistics of the blood units and simply information delivered to the donors on the process. Without connectivity, it would be downright impossible to organize the work on the scale needed. Accidents and surgeries happen on a daily basis and the need for blood donations is permanent.

Solution description

Goodmill Systems has had the opportunity in enabling the FRCBS to run their operations. FRCBS is a prominent user and one of the first pilot adopters of our briefcase model multichannel router. With the Goodmill router, the FRCBS personnel can arrive on scene confident that the connectivity will be available without any setup activities. No need to ask the host for guest WiFi passwords or to select between mobile network operators for the best. Basically, the medical professionals do not need to learn new IT skills to instantly start using the solution.

The briefcase packs the same functionality as the Goodmill vehicle model, but in a form factor that is easily carried by a single person and has, for example, integrated antennas. This means that the local WiFi access point is up and running immediately and the WAN-link towards the Internet and the backend systems operators through the best possible connection regardless of the location. The briefcase is quite small even though it has been designed with durability in mind. It could certainly take way bigger shocks than can be expected in FRCBS’s mobile use.

Collobration possibilities for the future

“We’ve been really happy with the ease of use and reliability of the solution. The connectivity topic is critical for us and could even lead us to not setup our operations in certain locations if adequate connectivity could not be built. We’ve seen the Goodmill router a key part in making sure we can get to where the donors are.”, comments Juha Kimmo a development manager at the FRCBS.

To further improve the value the solution creates, Goodmill and FRCBS are looking into three possibilities. One is to develop the WiFi access point towards a mesh solution, which would enable different parts of the operation to be located in separate rooms even a bit further away from each other and a second to improve the dashboard and analytics functions of the Goodmill Manager software. This would make it even easier to troubleshoot situations in problematic locations and make sure those can be used fully in the future. The first thing on the list and the proverbial low hanging fruit is to take into full use the link aggregation feature and start utilizing all of the networks at the same time.

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