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On Saturday 1st May 2021, we organized our very first online symposium through zoom and facebook live which consisted of 4 panelists and a moderator with 70+ participants. We had good participation and engagement from blood banks, hospitals, Nepal Red Cross Society and local blood volunteer groups. The theme for our first symposium was “Why is it important to talk about health informatics? How can blood banking benefit from a data centric approach?”. The symposium included a thematic presentation by Ms Bonny Pradhan and panel discussion with Ms Bonny Pradhan, Dr. Bishal Bandari, Mr Deepak Dawadi and Dr. Sanjeev Upreti. 

Dr. Apruva Koirala, the moderator for the symposium, started by introducing the panelists and giving a short description of the symposium theme and its objective to make blood bank executives and staff, hospitals, bureaucrats, Nepal red cross society, related government bodies, blood volunteer organizations and other related stakeholders aware on importance of data and digitization which could help them visualize its benefits. 

Our Thematic speaker, Bonny Pradhan - Principal software engineer of LIS Nepal, gave a brief overview on the importance of data  and digitization in general and how blood banking can benefit from a data centric approach to make data informed decisions. 

In the panel discussion the moderator put forward his questions to the panelist and they shared their experiences and learnings on the same. Dr Bhandari discussed data management, how it can also support decision making and make the blood banking sector more efficient and transparent. Dr Upreti also explained about the need of such digital transformation for donor care and improving their experience which could ultimately help keep the blood stocks intact at blood banks. Ms Bonny described that along with the data digitization comes the greater responsibility of keeping the integrity of data intact and that it is more important in case of sensitive sectors like blood banking. She mentioned the importance of keeping data secure and ways to do it. Mr Dawadi raised the need for the digital transformation of the blood banking sector explaining what Nepalese blood banks are missing out because of having a traditional record keeping system and advocated for its digital transformation. 

Organizing this symposium helped our targeted participants from blood banks, hospitals, volunteer organizations and others  to be aware of the importance of digital transformation in the blood banking sector. We also believe that sessions like this would encourage them to think beyond the traditional practices and be creative and innovative in making the blood banking process more efficient.

You can watch the full session recording of blood donation in the digital age here.