Tech Titans, the largest technology trade association in Texas, in conjunction with the Dallas Business Journal, have announced Bloodbuy as the winner of the 2017 Tech Titans Emerging Company Innovation Award.
While an ice storm didn’t freeze out fans from Super Bowl 45, held in 2011 at Cowboys Stadium, the Pittsburgh Steelers and local hospitals saw big losses.
Though the Steelers would later win other games, North Texas medical providers were facing an immediate and significant shortage in blood supply, posing a public healthy safety risk across the region. Donors were unable to get to blood banks, and banks couldn’t mobilize collection units to reach out to donors.
As a result, doctors and hospitals had no way to secure much-needed blood.
“We learned that the blood supply across the country is hyper-fragmented; it is a local business. And being that it is, by definition, localized, it creates these silos,” Godfrey said. “You have these areas at one point in time that may have an abundance of blood supply, while at the same time, another geography might have a shortage.”
“Once we identified that as a pervasive issue, we started to think about how we could use technology to handle this challenge,” he added. “If blood is in one location while there’s another location that’s in shortage, how do we connect the dots?”
In 2013 he launched BloodSolutions — now known as BloodBuy, based in Dallas — which offers a cloud-based network where blood banks and medical facilities can connect and procure blood.
Not only does the technology eliminate shortages, it helps hospitals save money. In 2013, U.S. hospitals were set to spend a combined $14 billion on blood and blood products.
“There are also geographies where the blood supply, in terms of availability, does not meet or exceed the need, so there are geographies that are constantly trying to access blood more effectively. And there are geographies where the cost of operating those blood centers are considerable, so the costs they have to pass onto the hospital might be more significant,” Godfrey said. “We have the ability to address some of those disparities.”
Bloodbuy’s technology has caught the attention of Harvard University, where last year it won the first Harvard Medical School Health Acceleration Challeng e. The company beat out nearly 500 other applicants, sharing a $150,000 prize with four finalists. As the final winner, Bloodbuy received an additional $50,000.
"Its online platform and ability to scale its organization have already had a positive impact on patient care," Robert S. Huckman, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, said of Bloodbuy. "The company is poised to make even greater contributions in the future.”