– Abbott Laboratories has designed high-tech mixed-reality glasses to help recruit blood donors.– High school and college-age donors have decreased by half since the pandemic.– The glasses transport first-time donors to a virtual Zen garden that they control with their eyes.– The New York Blood Center is the first in the country to use the glasses, with other blood banks in Chicago also planning to roll them out this summer.– The goal is to attract more donors, especially those who are nervous about the donation process.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Wednesday is World Blood Donor Day, but recruiting some donors can be difficult.
Nationwide, since the pandemic, high school and college-age donors are down by half. That’s where a new high-tech device could help.
Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories designed these high-tech mixed-reality glasses.
They can transport first-time donors who are nervous about the process to a virtual Zen garden that they control with their eyes, while their arms stay still.
“I’m seeing an orb, and it’s talking to me right now,” said blood donor Parthid Patel.
“We’re hoping they’re going to come back and hopefully when they hear about the mixed reality, they’re going to want to come in and try it,” said Christine Foran of the New York Blood Center.
A New York blood center is the first in the country to use the glasses, but Abbott said several blood banks, including ones in Chicago, have bought them and will be rolling them out this summer.
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