Snapchat and NHS Blood and Transplant launch an AR lens to raise awareness around organ donation

Coinciding with World Kidney Day on 11 March, NHS Blood and Transplant announced its partnership with Snapchat in launching a body-tracking Augmented Reality (AR) Lens. With an aim to drive and raise awareness around organ donation, the lens gives Snapchat users the ability to locate and educate themselves on key organs inside the body. The lens has been created with OmniGOV at Manning Gottlieb OMD and targets the younger, Snapchat-using audience, and those particularly in the 16-20 age range.
Holly Mason, deputy head of organ donation marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, says in the announcement: “Working with Snapchat to utilise this new body scanning technology, is a really exciting opportunity for us. We are constantly looking for new ways to raise awareness and get people talking about organ donation.”
To find out more and to register, head to the NHS Organ Donor Register website.
“By educating younger generations on the importance of organ donation, we know they can lead the way for the future. Our research tells us that young people have the ability to become real change makers, challenging and inspiring change within their wider family. We hope that the lens encourages and motivates people to have a discussion with their loved ones about organ donation and together we can save more lives.”
Simran Sahajpal, a university student from Birmingham, underwent a kidney transplant in October 2020 having waited for five years for a donor. “It was overwhelming when I got the news that they’d found a match for me,” he says in a statement. “After waiting for such a long time, it was a feeling of nervousness and excitement. Now that I have have my transplant, I will be able to do all the things I wouldn’t have been able to do before and focus on my future and completing my university degree. I feel so fortunate to have received my kidney and I’m hoping for all those who are currently waiting for a transplant to not lose hope and maybe someday they will be able to live their best lives again – just like me.”
To use the filter, users are invited to open the Snapchat app and either scan the Snapcode or click on the campaign icon in their Lens carousel – located on the bottom of the screen that gives you an array of present lenses. Once activated, users will be instructed to flip the camera and point the phone at a person to access the lens. The camera then tracks the body and identifies the organs that can be donated, this includes the heart, lungs, eyes, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small intestine. The user can then select specific organs and learn more about them. There is additionally a swipe-up option which directs users to the organ donation website.
At present, it’s estimated that over 6,000 people across the UK are waiting for an organ transplant, with best matches coming from a donor with the same ethnic background. Further research, according to the NHS Blood and Transplant announcement, states that there are at least 2,569 people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, with 580 people from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds.

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