The Blood Connection Launches Mixed Reality Blood Donation Tour

TBC to offer unique blood donation experience

RALEIGH, NC | ROANOKE, VA | CHARLESTON, SC | SAVANNAH, GA | CHARLOTTE, NC | GREENVILLE, SC, June 11, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Blood Connection (TBC), in partnership with Abbott, a global leader in blood and plasma screening, and Blood Centers of America (BCA), the largest blood supplier network in the U.S., is proud to present a new mixed-reality experience to blood donors. TBC will kick off a summer tour throughout their areas of service where donors are invited to experience this new technology firsthand.

The Microsoft HoloLens 2 merges physical and digital worlds throughout blood donation. Donors that utilize these new, hands-free, headsets will be immersed in an interactive garden experience that allows them to plant seeds and cultivate a blooming garden while listening to soothing music and remaining aware of their real world surroundings.

“By making the donation process more engaging and less intimidating, this innovation can play a crucial role in increasing the blood supply,” said Jennifer Kapral, senior vice president at Blood Centers of America and a co-author of the study. “Mixed reality helps modernize the donation experience and also potentially increases the frequency and number of younger donors. It can really make a difference to get more people interested in donating and making it more fun when they do.”

The experience has been specifically designed to help relieve any anxiety about the donation process by providing a distraction to donors who might be hesitant about donating blood. One pilot study published in the medical journal Transfusion found that the use of mixed reality during blood donation helps ease feelings of anxiety and increases the likelihood that donors will return to give blood again. In the study, the technology successfully decreased anxiety in 68% of donors who reported baseline anxiety prior to donation. The goal is to improve the donation experience, help attract new donors, and to cultivate the next generation of blood donors.

The HoloLens will be available for donors as follows:

  • June 10-21: Glenwood Donor Center, 5925 Glenwood Ave., Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27612
  • June 27: VA Community Blood Drive at The Berglund Center, 710 Williamson Rd NE, Roanoke, VA 24016
  • July 1-5: N. Charleston Donor Center, 5870 Core Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
  • July 8-12: Savannah Donor Center, 1915 E Victory Dr., Suite 2A, Savannah, GA 31401
  • July 15-19: Augusta Donor Center, 3156 Perimeter Parkway, Suite 201, Augusta, GA 30909
  • July 22-26: Lexington Donor Center, 5141 Sunset Blvd., Lexington, SC 29072
  • July 29-August 9: Rock Hill Donor Center, 1157 Herrons Ferry Rd., Rock Hill, SC 29730
  • August 14: Microsoft Charlotte, 8055 Microsoft Way, Charlotte, NC 28273
  • August 19-23: Asheville Donor Center, 225 Airport Rd., Arden, NC 28704
  • August 26-30: Anderson Donor Center, 101 Hanna Crossing, Anderson, SC 29621
  • September 6: Clemson APO Back-to-School Blood Drive, 101 Calhoun Drive, Clemson, SC 29634 

When a donor arrives, they will be given a short tutorial on the functions of the headset and will be able to adjust to their comfort level. TBC hopes to attract new donors with the HoloLens technology but encourages all donors to immerse themselves and plant a garden with the mixed-reality lenses.

Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. To make an appointment, visit to find a participating center or a mobile blood drive near you.


About The Blood Connection

Founded in Greenville, SC, The Blood Connection has been committed to saving lives since 1962. TBC is an independently managed, not-for-profit, community blood center that provides blood products to over 130 hospitals within South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. Recognized by the U.S. Congress for its dedication to disaster preparedness and the community, TBC works diligently to collect blood from volunteer donors to meet the ever-increasing demand. By keeping collections local, TBC serves hundreds of thousands of patients a year in its communities. TBC is licensed and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For more information, visit


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