World Badminton Champion P.V. Sindhu has joined an innovative effort to create awareness about breast cancer using Augmented Reality technology.
The ace shuttler features in what is said to be the world’s first initiative using life-size Augmented Reality (AR) to create awareness about importance of early detection of breast cancer, launching the app developed by Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation (UBCF), a not-for-profit breast cancer charity based here, to take the message of “early detection” to every home.
To be part of UBCF’s app “ABC of breast health”, the AR feature will be functional in a month’s time, said Dr Raghu Ram, Founder, CEO and Director of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation.
One can see a life-size image of the star or the doctor speaking through AR technology. “You would see your own surroundings on the phone, giving you an impression that the celebrity is right in front of you. The whole idea is to have one-on-one interaction, without actually being there. You can even take a selfie with the celebrity or doctor in your own surroundings,” he said.
Using AR technology and roping in celebrities, he wants to reach out to rural India to create awareness, he said.
Ram told IANS that every month he plans to have a new celebrity, who wants to give his or her message as part of the awareness campaign. “The idea is to reach out to all villages by using the latest technology and making the whole experience interesting for people,” he said.
According to the doctor, with 1.62 lakh new cases being diagnosed every year, breast cancer is the commonest cancer affecting women in India. “Due to lack of awareness about early detection, more than 70 per cent are in the advanced stages. Consequently, every 10 minutes, a woman succumbs to breast cancer in our country,” he said,
Sindhu lauded Ram and the Foundation for launching the unique initiative. She is actively associated with his Pink Ribbon campaign. “I sincerely hope that many more lives would be saved through the awareness created by the Foundation with this remarkable technology. If my celebrity status can help achieve this goal, I would consider it my good fortune to have been associated with this very noble campaign,” she said.
Ram said he would seek the assistance of the Telangana government in utilising this technology to empower people in villages across the state. He also plans to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explore opportunities to replicate this initiative in all the villages across India.
Jayesh Ranjan, the chief advisor to the foundation and Telangana’s Principal Secretary, Information Technology, said in 2017, the Foundation launched the world’s first mobile app “ABCs of breast health” in 12 commonly spoken Indian languages.
Bhairav Shankar, Managing Director, Avantari Technology, said life-size AR is a visionary futuristic technology that has the potential for the celebrity and the doctor to reach out to a large section of people without being actually physically present and convey their message.