October is recognised across the world as the International breast cancer awareness month and Dr P Raghu Ram, CEO and director, Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation, Hyderabad, is taking the opportunity to spread awareness about breast cancer through his initiatives. Having launched the mobile app on breast health ‘ABC of breast health’ in 2017, he is now using life-size Augmented Reality (AR) technology to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.
Break the taboo
“My main focus is to be able to take this technology and use it in rural India where 70% of our population reside and empower people where talking about breast cancer is a taboo,” shares the Padma Shri awardee and adds, “We need to reach a wider audience and these technological innovations help us in penetrating remote areas.”
All one needs to do is to download the app. Once the user opens the app, by placing your phone over any corner space (a 2*2 area) in a room, they will see a life-size image of the speaker in front of them, through Augmented Reality. The whole idea is to have a one-on-one interaction, without the speaker actually being there.
The speakers will change on a monthly basis and the inaugural celebrity who will be raising awareness will be badminton champion P V Sindhu. The unique technology is being leveraged for effective and efficient dissemination of correct information.
Available in both Telugu and English, along with the celebrities, Dr Raghu Ram will also be holding sessions and the idea of roping in popular faces was devised in order to reach more people. He adds, “The app will take the actor into the personal spaces of people’s homes/community centres in the villages to create awareness about various breast health issues.”
The app is available in both in the Android and iOS formats and Dr Raghu Ram stresses that there is no information or personal user data collected through it. A simple and user friendly application it mainly relates to three components — benign non-cancer breast health issues, breast cancer information and common myths and facts about various aspects of the cancer.
While Dr Raghu Ram’s Pink Ribbon campaigns have become a culvert in creating awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer in the urban areas, he hopes to transcend geographical boundaries with the app. “I am sure that a large number of people would be empowered about various aspects of breast health through the digital platform in a short period of time. This app aims to address this issue by providing every conceivable information about every aspect of breast health making people better informed and better prepared to make informed decisions,” he explains.