Raising Awareness for Organ Donation: Snapchat and NHS Blood and Transplant’s AR Campaign

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) used World Kidney Day on March 11 to unveil a collaboration with Snapchat on the launch of a body-tracking augmented reality (AR) lens to raise awareness for organ donation. 

Users of the app will be able to locate and learn more about key organs in their bodies through this unique lens. The goal is to highlight the shortage of available organs for people waiting for transplants, especially for people of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds, with the technology combining “whole body tracking technology” and infographics to achieve its goal.

Targeting a younger audience between the ages of 16 and 20, the awareness campaign created in collaboration with Manning Gottlieb OMD’s OmniGov aims to engage, educate and encourage people to talk about organ donation with their loved ones through a platform they can relate to.

How does it work?

The AR Lens experience allows users to learn more about their vital organs in real time via the Snapchat app. By opening the app and scanning the Snapcode or clicking on the campaign icon in their lens carousel, Snapchatters will be prompted to flip their camera and point the smartphone at a person to use the body scanning technology. The Snapchat camera will then follow the body in view and identify organs – including the heart, lungs, eyes, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small intestine – that can be donated to save or improve a person’s life. The technology offers the ability to select a specific organ or browse the side icons to learn more. Users can also swipe up and be redirected to the organ donation website. 

With more than 6,000 people estimated to be waiting for an organ transplant in the United Kingdom, including at least 2,569 waiting for a kidney transplant, raising awareness of organ donation is crucial to addressing the shortage of matching donors, particularly among Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority patients, who, according to the NHSBT, are more affected by the shortage of matching donors, factoring in that the most suitable donors tend to be those from the same ethnic background as the patient in need of an organ.