Apps, News

Snapchat and NHS Blood and Transplant driving organ donation awareness with AR

On World Kidney Day, 11 March, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has announced it’s collaborating with Snapchat to drive organ donation awareness, with the launch of a body-tracking Augmented Reality (AR) Lens.

The AR Lens, which is believed to be the first of its kind, will enable ‘Snapchatters’ to locate and learn about key organs within the body. It combines ‘full body tracking technology’ with infographics and aims to highlight the shortage of organs available for those waiting for a transplant, particularly for people from Black and Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

The campaign, created in partnership with OmniGOV at Manning Gottlieb OMD, is specifically targeting a younger audience in the 16-20 age range, whom it hopes to engage, educate and encourage to talk about organ donation with loved ones.

The AR Lens experience works by following these steps:

  • Snapchatters open the app and either scan the Snapcode or click on the campaign icon in their Lens carousel.
  • Once activated, Snapchatters will be told to flip the camera and point the phone at a person to use the body scanning technology.
  • The Snapchat camera will then track the body in view and identify the organs – including heart, lungs, eyes, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small intestine – that can be donated to save or enhance a person’s life.
  • Snapchatters can select specific organs or the icons down the side to learn more. There is also a swipe-up option which directs to the organ donation website.

It’s estimated that over 6,000 people across the are UK waiting for an organ transplant – with at least 2,569 people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant – while the best matches for many usually come from a donor from the same ethnic background. According to NHSBT, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic patients often have to wait significantly longer for a successful match, due to a shortage of suitably matched donors.

To join the organ donation register, please visit the official site.