Héma-Québec, the organization in charge of meeting the blood and biological product needs of the Québec population, is using advanced technology to address the challenge of low blood donations. Currently, only 3% of the population donates blood, and Héma-Québec aims to change this by using virtual reality (VR) technology. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Héma-Québec has teamed up with Québec-based company OVA to create an immersive VR experience that aims to educate and inspire individuals to become blood donors.

The main goal of this innovative VR tool is to tackle the concerns and fears that prevent people from donating blood. Héma-Québec has identified these concerns as significant barriers to increasing the number of blood donors. By offering an immersive experience through VR, Héma-Québec aims to overcome these barriers and encourage more people to participate.

The VR experience provides users with a step-by-step guide to the blood donation process, offering an accurate and realistic representation. To ensure authenticity, avatars representing the staff at Héma-Québec donation centers accompany users during their virtual journey. These virtual guides can answer questions, provide information, and ease any fears or concerns users may have. The intention is to familiarize people with the process and make it more accessible to a wider audience.

The VR tool is being used in donation centers and recruitment activities across Québec. Volunteers from the Association of Blood Donation Volunteers, in collaboration with Héma-Québec, are introducing VR headsets at various events, allowing potential donors to immerse themselves in the experience. By bringing the VR tool directly to the public, Héma-Québec hopes to reach a larger audience and generate interest in blood donation.

Considering that Héma-Québec delivers almost 800,000 biological products to hospitals in Québec each year, the potential impact of this initiative is significant. By increasing the number of blood donors, the organization can ensure a steady supply of blood and other essential biological products, ultimately saving more lives.

The importance of this VR experience goes beyond education and awareness; it aims to alleviate common fears and concerns associated with blood donation. By providing a realistic and immersive experience, potential donors can become familiar with the process, reducing anxiety and increasing their willingness to participate.

The collaboration between Héma-Québec and OVA, an expert in VR technology, has been crucial in developing this innovative tool. Both organizations recognize the power of VR as a tool for awareness and education, and are committed to harnessing its potential to drive positive change.

The success of this pilot project will determine its future. If the initial phase proves successful, Héma-Québec will consider expanding the VR experience to more locations and events. The organization is optimistic about this innovative approach, expecting a significant increase in blood donations and a subsequent impact on saving more lives.

To make the VR experience more accessible, Héma-Québec will initially offer it at two locations: the Héma-Québec Saint-Bruno Donor Centre and the Globule in Sainte-Foy. By directly engaging with potential donors at these locations, Héma-Québec aims to create a more engaging and informative donation experience.

In conclusion, Héma-Québec’s VR initiative represents a bold and innovative approach to increase blood donations in Québec. By utilizing VR technology, the organization aims to educate, inform, and alleviate fears surrounding the blood donation process. With the support of the public and the success of this pilot project, Héma-Québec hopes to inspire a new wave of blood donors, ultimately saving more lives and making a lasting impact on the healthcare landscape of Québec.