Bloodchainsim – A Simulation Environment to Evaluate Digital Innovations in Blood Supply Chains

Blood supply chains are an essential element of healthcare systems. Crisis situations, such as droughts, epidemics, and political conflicts, put increasing innovation pressure on blood establishments to enable a steady delivery of blood products at all times. Simulation provides the means to test out digital innovations for blood supply chains regarding their operational efficiency and expected costs.

The BloodChainSim Toolkit was developed using the established HumLog Suite, a simulation toolkit, built in AnyLogic, that combines agent-based and discrete-event approaches. All relevant actors in the blood supply chain were modeled as separate agents capable of their own localized decision-making. Moreover, a geographic information system (GIS) was used to accurately represent locations and the actual transportation infrastructure. Stochastic distributions enable the modeling of supply and demand fluctuations. Two types of optimizations were included in order to portray dynamic decision-making.

Thus, the toolkit was capable of simulating the overall blood supply chain, including all elements needed to evaluate the effects of introducing different digital innovations. The simulation toolkit was applied to evaluate several scenarios, such as the dynamic allocation of mobile blood donation facilities and the usage of drones in urban areas.

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