Snapchat, Red Cross CP (AR) lens teaches users how to restart a heart

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To coincide with World Restart a Heart Day on 16 October, technology company Snap has partnered with the Red Cross and social technology agency Gospooky to create a new augmented reality experience that teaches the basic steps of CPR.

During cardiac arrest, the heart cannot pump blood to the rest of the body, including the brain and lungs. Without immediate action, this can lead to death within minutes. 

However, according to data from the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR), while seven out of 10 cardiac arrests happen in front of bystanders, fewer than 20% of witnesses end up providing first aid.

How to restart a heart

The new Snapchat lens, created using Snap’s leading augmented reality technology, creates a life-sized digital image of an injured or ill person, placing them in the same room as the user. 

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It then takes Snapchatters through important steps of CPR, teaching them potentially lifesaving first aid skills.

The new lens aims to ensure that users know how to respond in an emergency, giving them step-by-step, true-to-life examples of CPR techniques, including checking whether a person is responsive and breathing, calling for help, clearing their airway, performing chest compressions and delivering rescue breaths. 

It also shows how to re-check for vital signs after delivering CPR.

At the same time, it teaches more detailed points such as the frequency and speed of compressions, with multiple-choice questions helping to clarify each step. Users can also repeat the training as many times as they need.

The important new tool was built in collaboration with Netherlands-based social technology agency Gospooky, who worked with the Red Cross to create the educational experience. 

The company has been pushing the boundaries of what’s possible through augmented reality, using Snapchat’s tools and advanced machine learning models to create experiences that help tell stories and educate in new, immersive ways.

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Restart a heart: Snap teams up with the Red Cross for new CPR lens.
© Mikael Buck / Snapchat

After opening the lens via Snapcode or through the Snapchat carousel, the Lens creates a life size digital injured/ill person and places them in the room around the user. It then takes Snapchatters through important steps of CPR, including:

  • Checking responsiveness
  • Clearing the airway
  • Checking for breathing
  • Calling for help (alerting )
  • Chest compressions
  • Delivering rescue breaths
  • Using Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

While not a replacement for in-person CPR training, the initiative aims to educate people on the basic steps and importance of CPR, and to increase their confidence and willingness to act in emergencies. 

It directs Snapchatters to the British Red Cross website to get more information and learn more about first aid on the British Red Cross First aid app.

Fabrice Muamba, Ex-Professional Footballer, said: “On 17 March 2012 I had a cardiac arrest in the middle of an FA cup game. I was out for 78 minutes. 

“Without immediate action with CPR, I would not have survived. CPR saved my life, and this new lens from Snapchat is a huge step towards driving awareness with people young and old to encourage them to learn more about this life saving skill that can be needed anywhere, at any time.”

Nana Crawford, Social Media Manager, British Red Cross, said: “It is a great pleasure to collaborate with Snapchat to raise awareness of cardiac arrest and the importance of learning first aid. 

“With a huge global community of social media users, it’s more important than ever to take advantage of the power of technology for learning. 

“That’s why having this AR lens with Snapchat and Gospooky on World Restart A Heart day is a great opportunity to engage people around the world in learning potentially life-saving skills.”

The Lens is available from today 13 October on Snapchat. To find out more about how to perform CPR or other first aid procedures visit http://simplefirstaid.org/app.