Technology is constantly changing and enhancing our lives in many ways. Whether it’s the use of artificial intelligence, location services, or enablement tools on digital devices, innovative technologies are transforming how we interact with each other, every day.
At the Red Cross, innovation sits at the intersection of our mission and our constituents - the people we serve. Across the many programs we provide from disaster preparedness and response, to blood services, training services, support of the military, and more, the Red Cross Innovation Team experiments and develops new approaches that help deliver on our mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
“The Red Cross Innovation team operates like a startup within the organization, laser focused on delivering opportunities which have the highest business value and mission impact in the shortest possible time.”
- Sajit Joseph, Chief Innovation Officer
Areas of Focus
The Red Cross leverages leading edge technologies to reimagine and retool business processes – making them more agile and efficient.
Artificial Intelligence: AI is helping transform the way we deliver our mission. One way is leveraging its power with machine learning to create supply/demand predictions and identify patterns that might be missed via traditional analysis methods.
Chatbots: Chatbots are increasingly used by companies and organizations. We deploy bots as customer facing information systems to improve our constituent experience and as staff facing tools to optimize our internal processes.
Voice Skills: We are utilizing these opportunities to provide easy access to Red Cross information and provide efficient ways to enable transactions. We currently offer a variety of skills for Amazon Alexa with plans to extend these skills on Google Home™ smart speaker and other platforms.
Robotic Process Automation: This technology helps automate manual processes and improve our employee experience, enabling staff and volunteers to devote their time towards strategic activities instead of focusing on mundane and repetitive tasks.
Digital Transformation: New platforms help change the way we react to disasters and perform business functions. One example, RCView™ - a digital ecosystem - is used to visualize all aspects of a disaster response effort, delivering real-time information for decision making and coordination.
Crowdsourcing: We leverage crowdsourcing projects to extend the impact of our humanitarian mission. Missing Maps is one such project where through the kindness of digital volunteers, we help map communities around the world. This vital location information enables international and local NGOs to better respond to crises affecting those areas.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS): We are more effective in disaster response when we can leverage data. GIS help us analyze information and build visualization tools to help support both domestic and international disaster operations.
Drones: Drones provide an immediate, aerial perspective that helps improve situational awareness. These devices are vital for responder teams to help assess impact areas in the aftermath of disaster events.
Open Source Software: Digital communities are working together to build and share open source software and other technologies. These projects can range across many areas, from portable mapping servers for areas without internet connectivity, to photogrammetry software for processing drone imagery.
Mobile Apps: In 2012, the Red Cross launched its first smartphone app designed to help people learn and deliver first aid assistance. Over the years, additional mobile apps have launched providing ready information on a variety of topics for the general public and internal staff.
Emerging Technologies: We are constantly examining new technology innovations to assess the potential impact these opportunities can make on our humanitarian mission. Examples include exploration of computer vision, virtual reality, and augmented reality.
Innovate with Us
Bring your technology strengths to the Red Cross and accelerate our initiatives. Your actions will help keep our iconic brand in the digital forefront of the charitable non-profit space.
For Individuals: Join Our Team
Throughout the year we post employment opportunities (paid and volunteer) to join the Red Cross Innovation Team. Skill requirements can range from data scientists and bot developers, to software architects and more.
We work with and value the expertise provided by leading tech giants, as well as leverage the benefits of small start-ups. Whether your opportunities can help us innovate organically, via thought partnership or funding innovation, your partnership will keep our initiative pipeline flowing.
How the Red Cross Innovation Team Works
Red Cross Innovation is about solving a problem or improving a process that betters how the organization delivers on its humanitarian mission. The team driving this innovation brings a “start-up” mindset to understand the base need, leveraging a combination of product delivery models - design thinking, visual prototyping, dev-ops, and agile processes - to develop actionable solutions.
The team helps transform mission delivery and keeps the American Red Cross positioned on the leading edge of innovation.