“ImmunHelden”: everyday life heroes
The "#WirVsVirus Solution Enabler" project "ImmunHelden" is a platform that aims to connect people who have recovered from COVID-19 with organisations that need their support.
For months, doctors, researchers and medical personnel have been doing everything they can to get a few steps ahead of the coronavirus. The platform “ImmunHelden” (English: immune heroes) connects people who have recovered from COVID-19 with organisations that need their support and helps them transform into heroes.
Use your immunity for the benefit of everyone
For people who have recovered from the virus, “ImmunHelden” is a chance to give something back to society. Stefan Gränitz from “ImmunHelden” declares,
“Regarding our users, I think it’s more than appropriate to call them heroes because they went through this disease themselves and now they don’t just lean back and think of themselves. They want to engage actively to help other people and society as a whole. For me, this is the very definition of a hero!”
Within the short time frame of a weekend, the project developed from scratch in the German “#WirVsVirus hackathon”, which was initiated by a corporation of the German government and actors of civil society in March of 2020. The goal: collectively countering the many challenges the coronavirus poses to society.
The hero’s assistant: our immune system
Presently “ImmunHelden” focuses on blood plasma donations. When someone has successfully combated COVID-19, the immune system has conquered the disease and developed antibodies to the virus, which are then existent in the blood plasma. The plasma of people who recovered from COVID-19 can help seriously ill patients’ recovery and is further necessary for scientific research.
Christian Torres Reyes, Specialist for internal medicine, emphasises the necessity of this opportunity:
“As an internist, I treat patients in the hospital who are affected by COVID-19. There are 2 problems that are particularly frustrating for both the patients and for me:
- The small number of reliable treatment options against the virus that are currently available
- The uncertainty concerning knowledge about this new disease
The immune response of convalescents who fought their own battle against this disease can already help to answer many questions (research) and offers urgently needed options for seriously ill patients in intensive care units (therapy). In this sense, I believe that plasma donation is a good opportunity for society to take an active role in the fight against the virus.”
Find your location to support
“ImmunHelden” provides a map to help users find suitable plasma donation facilities in their area. The map currently lists more than 100 verified locations for COVID-19 plasma donations in Germany and Austria. The platform has now made it their mission to raise awareness of the importance of donating convalescent plasma and to find partners across plasma donation centres throughout the entire European Union.
Furthermore, “ImmunHelden” provides multiple opportunities to get involved and additionally offers a subscription service for location-based news: the “ImmunHelden Updates”. The platform is currently part of the “#WirVsVirus Solution Enabler” programme, initiated by the social acceleration platform “ProjectTogether “. With the Vodafone Institute as one of its funding partners, the programme aims to implement the most promising solutions and digital prototypes as quickly as possible.
About the “#WirVsVirus Solution Enabler” programme
The “#WirVsVirus Solution Enabler” is a six-months implementation programme for 130 selected innovative solutions developed for coronavirus-related challenges. As one of its funding partners supported by the Vodafone Institute with start-up funding, know-how and digital expertise, the projects from 12 action fields, such as health, everyday life and crisis management, are encouraged to implement their solutions on a broad scale successfully. The programme under the patronage of the Federal Chancellery has started working with the projects on April 8th of 2020. Find further information here.