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Snap launches AR Lens to teach the basics of CPR

David Murphy

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

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 per cent of witnesses end up providing first aid.

The Snapchat Lens creates a life-sized digital image of an injured or ill person, placing them in the same room as the user. It then takes users how to perform CPR, giving them examples of CPR techniques, including checking whether a person is responsive and breathing; calling for help; clearing their airway; performing chest compressions; delivering rescue breaths; and using a defibrillator. 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 repeat the training as many times as they need.

Fabrice Muamba, an ex-professional footballer, who suffered a cariac arrest during a match, 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.”

To use the Lens, check you are using the latest version of Snapchat downloaded, then open the app, navigate to the lens on the carousel, or point the camera at the Snapcode on your phone screen to unlock the AR Lens. Once unlocked, follow the on-screen instructions as it takes you through the various steps of performing CPR. After the experience finishes, click the button to find out more on the British Red Cross website