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Marie Keating Foundation, Snapchat And Aleph Launch AR Mobile Screen Lens To Change How We See Lung Cancer

The Marie Keating Foundation has launched a groundbreaking new AR innovation ‘Filter Out Lung Cancer’ in partnership with Snapchat and Aleph, Snapchat’s certified official sales partner in Ireland, to help raise symptom awareness for Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November.

In response to concerning statistics from newly commissioned research that revealed the majority of Irish people are not confident on the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, the charity is pioneering a radical new messaging approach. 

The Snapchat mobile tech innovation has already achieved more than half a million views and more than 9,000 shares across the platform since launching on November 1st as part of ‘The Big Check Up’, the charity’s annual ‘Lung Cancer Awareness Month’ campaign. It aims to raise public awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer and encourage those at risk to get symptoms checked because early detection is key to increasing lung cancer survival rates. The Marie Keating Foundation is currently exploring how to globally export the innovative, informative and awareness-raising new lens, which has already surpassed the Irish industry benchmark for average camera playtime, with Snapchat and Aleph.

When used, the new AR lens displays information on lung cancer indicators to watch out for. The charity hopes to engage with a wider audience through the use of the innovative technology which invites users to encourage anyone they know with possible symptoms, including a cough that lingers for more than three weeks, to get checked. The younger generation on the platform are encouraged to engage their parents, grandparents, family and friends with the lens, to help share the educational message far and wide.

Lung cancer continues to claim more lives annually, among both men and women, than any other cancer, with 1,850 people dying from the disease in Ireland each year. However the new research, compiled for the charity by Empathy has revealed that less than one third of the population (29%) are confident about the signs and symptoms to watch out for in relation to lung cancer, while more than a third of adults (36%) admit that not being aware of the symptoms of lung cancer would deter them from getting symptoms checked.

Furthermore, the research shows that only 5% of Irish people are aware that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women, while just 20% know that it is the cancer that claims the most lives among men. 

The Marie Keating Foundation, one of the leading voices in Ireland for early detection, claims it doesn’t have to be this way, and is calling on the Government, stakeholders and the public to ‘change how we see lung cancer’. In a direct response to the concerning statistics, the charity is harnessing tech and social media innovations to counteract symptom myopia as part of ‘The Big Check Up’ campaign, making a cross-generational call to filter out lung cancer. 

Liz Yeates, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation said, “lung cancer death rates remain shockingly high, largely due to late diagnosis, while symptom awareness is alarmingly low and a stigma still persists in relation to lung cancer. The time has come to change how people see lung cancer, to raise public awareness and encourage those with lung cancer signs and symptoms to get checked, because early detection, combined with all of the new treatments available, significantly improves chances of positive outcomes.”

“We’re thrilled to form this innovative partnership with Snapchat Ireland to raise symptom awareness through the use of technology, with the aim of reaching a broad demographic across Irish society. Our aim is to increase symptom awareness, engage with a wider audience and encourage anyone with possible symptoms to get them checked. The Snapchat Filter Out Lung Cancer AR lens is an exciting, interactive, dynamic and informative way to help us to achieve this.”

The Marie Keating Foundation is calling on a younger generation to use the Snapchat tool, to increase understanding and awareness among parents, grandparents and friends. Young people often engage older generations in the use of technology, filters, lenses and apps so the new Snapchat AR lens is the perfect tool to reach a wider audience in a new and interactive way.

Paul Gleeson, Senior Snapchat Client Partner at Aleph (Snapchat’s official reseller and representative in Ireland) said, “Snapchat Ireland and Aleph are excited to partner with the Marie Keating Foundation to raise awareness for such an important topic. With the help of the advanced Augmented Reality Lens, Snapchat users in Ireland are motivated to engage with their parents, grandparents, family and friends in a serene way and can contribute to the well-being of their peers. We know that Irish Snappchatters perceive the platform as an informative and entertaining place that they happily use. We are eager to see their contribution to fighting this disease through this innovative AR experience.”

The Marie Keating Foundation is also renewing pressure on the Government to introduce a national lung cancer screening programme, similar to existing breast, bowel and cervical cancer screening, to help save lives. The Empathy research reveals huge public support for this with almost three quarters (72%) of adults saying they would be likely to participate in a lung cancer screening programme, with people’s intention to do so increasing with age.

Yeates continued, “more people in Ireland, both men and women, die from lung cancer than from any other cancer and these rates are set to increase exponentially by 2045. Without a national lung screening programme, we are missing the opportunity to catch lung cancer before it is too late. This will equate to more lives lost. We have to look at the evidence and respond to the many calls to implement lung cancer screening to improve earlier diagnosis of lung cancer in Ireland.” 

Watch Snapchat’s ‘Filter Out Lung Cancer’ AR tool in use on Youtube here or download the filter using the QR code here.


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