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Mixed-reality blood donation

A New Way to Save Lives

We’re partnering with Abbott and Blood Centers of America to make your blood donation more relaxing with an immersive, mixed-reality experience. 

During your donation, plant seeds and bring nature-inspired holograms to life while you navigate this calming, interactive environment.

A donor uses a mixed-reality headset during her blood donation.
A donor enjoys the mixed-reality experience.

What is a Mixed-Reality Experience?

Mixed-reality is like virtual reality but allows you to see the real world around them. Participants wear lightweight mixed reality headsets to enter a digital world with colorful plants and soothing music but remain fully aware of their surroundings, ensuring a safe donation.  

This special donation experience allows your phlebotomist to conduct your donation and interact with you at every step of the process. Your eyes are always visible during donation to ensure constant monitoring and evaluation. 

Where can I participate?

We currently have one mixed-reality headset available at our New Braunfels Donor Center for whole blood donors, with plans to expand to other centers soon.

In addition, headsets are available at the mobile drives listed below. 

Headsets are limited. Donors will be able to use the headset on a first come, first served basis. 


Participants will wear lightweight headsets to enter a digital world but remain fully aware of their surroundings, ensuring a safe donation process.

The headset is currently not available for platelet or double red cell donations.

No. This technology is meant to fit seamlessly to the experience. The process for whole blood donation usually takes about one hour with the collection itself lasting about 10 minutes. The donation process includes registration, a brief medical screening, blood collection and refreshments.

The mixed-reality experience was created to provide a sense of relaxation and distraction for donors who may be apprehensive about giving blood or who are new to the donation process.

The technology allows blood donation professionals to conduct the donation and interact with donors at every step of the process.

Donors’ eyes are always visible during donation to ensure constant monitoring and evaluation.

We’ve incorporated optional subtitles into the mixed-reality experience so individuals who are hearing impaired can participate.

About Us

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For more than 45 years, the nonprofit South Texas Blood & Tissue Center has focused on a critical purpose: to save and improve lives.

Inspired by a group of physicians, our organization was formed to provide blood to the South Texas region – ensuring a safe and adequate blood supply through proper testing, storage and distribution to hospitals. This essential service allows front-line workers to focus on the direct care of patients, with confidence that this lifesaving resource will be there when it’s needed most.

But we didn’t stop there. Over the years, we’ve evolved as the needs of our patients and hospitals have changed, driven to save lives in as many ways as possible.

We couldn’t do this without donors like you. We understand that the gift of donation is a personal, powerful choice that has the potential to touch a life. Today, we offer many ways to make a difference that include:

Our team has also expanded its programs, partnering with leaders within the healthcare industry to develop a wide range of therapies.

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