The third symposium from hamro lifebank was successfully held on July 30, 2021. The symposium was entitled "Current status and practices in Digitization of blood data in Nepal." The main objective of this symposium was to help the audience understand the current status and practices of blood data digitization in Nepal and the potential of a data-centric approach. Likewise, it also focused on how well-managed data can support decision-making and make the blood banking sector more efficient and transparent. The panelists for the symposium were Dr. Bipin Nepal (Head of Department, Transfusion Medicine Grande Hospital), Mr. Ram Shrestha (Public Relation Officer, Nepal Red Cross Society, Center Blood Transfusion Service), and Mr. Ratna Byanjankar, (Administrative Officer, Nepal Red Cross Society-  Lalitpur Blood Transfusion Service).

Ms. Rumee Singh, CEO, and Co-founder of hamro life bank, the moderator for the symposium, started by welcoming and introducing the panelists and giving a short description of the symposium theme. We had a thematic speaker Dr. Bipin Nepal, who shared his experience and overview of the current status as well as the problems and challenges associated with blood bank Digitization practices in Nepal. Further, he added, the main barrier for digitizing the blood banking system is the unwillingness of the people to adapt and change with the new and emerging technology. He also explained how digitization and data-driven approaches could help carry out different activities and research & development in the blood banking system.

In the panel discussion, the moderator put forward her questions to the panelist. Dr. Nepal and Mr. Byanjankar shared their experiences and learnings on current status and practices in digitizing the blood banks data at CBTS, NRCS Lalitpur BTS, and Grande Hospital. Along with that, Mr. Shrestha talked about the importance of strategies to carry out the activities at blood banks. In the NRCS CBTS, he mentioned that digitizing the system is still in the planning phase, and it will take time to implement it. Likewise, Mr. Byanjankar talked about the importance of a data-driven approach and how it can help the blood donors, receiver, and blood bank system as a whole. The detailed information related to the availability of blood in the blood banks, supply, demand, and collection of blood can be tracked and accessed easily.

 Similarly, all the panelists agree that the government should take the initiative and act as the central authorized body to digitalize the blood bank system all around the country. As a result, it will connect all of the hospitals, the NRCS, and many organizations and clubs participating in the blood donation system, allowing them to manage the blood as well as the recipient and donor's information.The symposium was followed by answering the questions from participants by the respective panelists. Organizing this symposium has raised awareness among the target audience of blood banks, hospitals, volunteer organizations, blood donors, and the blood receivers about the importance of implementing the digitization of blood data in the blood banking sector in Nepal.You can watch the full session recording of State of Play: Current status and practices in the digitization of blood data in Nepal here: