Blood Donors

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross (ARC) is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education in the United States. Specifically, the American Red Cross’ Biomedical Services plays a critical role in our nation’s health care system.

Every 2 seconds, someone in the US needs blood.

American Red Cross' Biomedical Services is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, collecting and processing approximately 40 percent of the blood supply and distributing it to about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. The Red Cross also plays a leading role in protecting the safety of donors and patients and increasing the availability of blood.

For this project, you will be working on the American Rare Donor Program Information System (REGGI). REGGI is a data management and reporting system developed for the National Reference Laboratory for Blood Group Serology (NRLBGS) which, in addition to the American Red Cross, is comprised of 89 affiliated members, some international. REGGI is a client-server application that went live in 1997. It has not had a significant upgrade since 2002 until 2017, when the application’s Oracle database was updated to 11g R2. REGGI has multiple purposes, including:

  • managing information on blood donors with rare red blood cell characteristics
  • managing requests for rare units which includes the necessity for the application to search for acceptable matches in the ARDP lists of rare donor and available product
  • Your goal will be to work on the modernization of REGGI, transitioning it from its outdated PowerBuilder framework into a more modern format. This should be done while still keeping most of its current functionalities in tact. The ultimate goal is to have a working application that American Red Cross workers can use by the end of the ten-week quarter.

    To aid you in these tasks, the ARC will provide you with a copy of the REGGI application, the PowerBuilder Source Code, and an environment to run REGGI on your local environments. The milestones for you to strive for are as follows:

    Level 1: Your first task will be to move the American Red Cross’ database of donor information from its current Oracle 11g state to a SQL environment. The ARC has already set up an Azure environment to facilitate this transition – your goal will simply be to move all the data currently in the Oracle database to a newly created SQL environment. This task will help set you up for the next two milestones.

    Level 2: Before moving on to actually coding up this application, you will first need to settle on a final UI design for the application that is both modern and meets the requirements of the American Red Cross. You will also need to settle on a framework to build the new REGGI application in. This could be anything from C#/.NET to a web application in HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Your choice in language/framework is flexible as long as the application is accessible from a computer.

    Level 3: Milestone 3 is straightforward: Code up REGGI! After settling on final design plans with the ARC, your task for the remainder of the quarter is to rebuild REGGI in whatever new language/framework you decided in Milestone 2. In essence, your goal is to rewrite the Powerbuilder code for REGGI in your new environment, so a lot of this milestone involves looking at the PowerBuilder interaction/code and then rewriting it in your new application. As you work through this process, make sure to keep documentation of how to navigate your newly created application so that the ARC can use it when you are done.
    A typical student group who wishes to undertake this project would ideally have the following characteristics: Even if you feel you lack in one or more of the above-mentioned, you are encouraged to apply. As long as you believe you have it in you, and you can effectively convince us as to why and how you would be a great fit for the project, we always carry an open mind.

    Feel free to reach out to us, in case of any queries whatsoever. The ARC, its affiliated members, the Rare Blood Donors of the world and the patients who depend on them extend their deepest thanks for your assistance in this project.