HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Engineering and technology firm Avion Solutions is hosting a blood drive at their corporate headquarters in Research Park on Tuesday, September 1 from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Blood Assurance, a regional provider of blood and blood related products for hospitals and health care systems, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will have a mobile donation center in the front parking lot of Avion, and each donation can save up to three lives. Trauma, chemotherapy, and surgical patients are only a few among many recipients of donated blood.
What sets this blood drive apart is a small piece of technology that can be used to positively identify donors – a finger vein reader. Avion Solutions Inc. has partnered with Hitachi, Ltd. to create a new biometric solution for blood providers utilizing the unique vein patterns in an individual’s finger as a positive identification tool, creating a smoother donation experience. This application, BIT (Biometric Identification Tool), recently completed a successful pilot test at Blood Assurance to verify donor identification at registration, increasing confidence in current practices to keep appropriate records of life-saving donated blood. Rather than repeatedly showing your driver’s license and filling out the same paperwork, donors will simply register their biometrics. Upon initial registration, a user’s biometrics will be linked with their records, and on following visits, they will only need to use their finger to identify themselves and move on to the next step.
“The way it works is, there is an infrared light in the finger vein reader that will illuminate the hemoglobin inside your finger and there’s a camera on the bottom that will take a picture of the vein pattern within your finger,” explains Gena Hayes, Avion’s Marketing Coordinator. “So it’s much more secure than a fingerprint in that way; it’s about 99.9% accurate compared to a fingerprint which is about 95% accurate.”
The trial spanned across three months at two donor locations in Chattanooga. Over 600 donors were enrolled during this period with zero errors, and the user survey was “overwhelmingly positive with the majority of donors finding [Hitachi’s vein reader] convenient to use and indicating that they would use it again,” Blood Assurance stated in their final report to Avion. BIT can be used with most any existing records management system requiring positive identification.
“When our passion for serving the community combined with Blood Assurance’s successful completion of BIT’s pilot test, a blood drive was the natural event choice to launch this technology. We are excited to share this technology with our friends in Research Park in such a powerful way as to save lives,” Hayes said.