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Parent's Guide 2012 in Review

Prosinec 2012
Frances Verter, PhD
Frances Verter and her daughters, Nov. 2012

Frances Verter, PhD,
founder Parent's Guide
to Cord Blood Foundation

My daughters and I bring you "Season's Greetings" from the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. In the United States, where we are based, many people are celebrating the Jewish holiday of Chanukah and the Christian Holiday of Christmas. Elsewhere in the world, the peak holiday season has passed for Muslims who observe Ramadan and Hindus who celebrate Diwali. Running the Parent's Guide keeps us aware of everyone's Holidays because we are an international outreach organization.

We recently reviewed some of the demographics of our outreach: Only 65% of the readers of our website are in the United Sates. Our second biggest source of readers is India, which edged out Canada for the number two spot in 2010. Most readers, 89%, rely on English as their language, despite the ability to use a Google translate button for our web pages. About 70% of our readers are new each month, typically expectant parents who have decided they need to find out why their baby's cord blood is important, and what are their options?

India is currently the world's biggest market for family cord blood banks. With a birthrate of 27 million per year, much higher than the US birthrate of 4 million per year, India is projected to overtake China and be the world's most populous country by 2030. At the Parent's Guide, we consider improved outreach to India to be one of our top priorities. We need more connections to members of the cord blood industry in India, more complete descriptions of banks and clinical trials, and new partnerships to distribute educational materials. We also hope that in the near future there will be more effort to develop a public network in India to collect cord blood donations for transplant patients.

Another demographic shift in today's society is the changing use of technology. Most people don't pay any attention to what type of software their computer uses to browse the internet, but we are forced to pay attention to differences in the way our website displays in different web browsers. The dominant browser is Microsoft's Internet Explorer in the US, UK, and China. However, Google's Chrome dominates in India and much of the EU.

Even in the developing world, today almost everyone has a mobile phone, and more and more people are using smart phones that can connect to the internet. The analytics data from our web server suggests that perhaps a third of our readers are using mobile apps to browse the internet. Any organization that wants to conduct outreach to young people today must have a web site that is phone-friendly. We consider it a priority to develop our website in that direction during 2013 and thereafter.

We wish all our readers a healthy, happy, and prosperous year 2013 on the solar calendar, and soon the Chinese Year of the Snake.