London – The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) has teamed up with social media app Tinder to promote organ donations, as an attempt to draw more young people to the NHS organ donor register. The popular dating app has been designed to help people find a good personality match, but now users who swipe on some pictures will be encouraged to sign up and join the NHS campaign.
NHS Blood and Transplant reported in July that the number of deceased organ donors in the UK had decreased for the first time in more than 10 years. To date, there are less than 7,000 people on the UK transplant waiting list, while in the past decade over 6,000 patients across the UK have passed away waiting for an organ donation.
British celebrities have joined the campaign to raise awareness of the importance of becoming a donor, including reality-show star Jamie Laing from Made in Chelsea, Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones MBE, and Emmerdale’s Gemma Oaten. Their Tinder profiles will feature The Wait logo to show their support to the initiative and direct their matches to the NHS Organ Donor Registry.
For the next two weeks, if a user swipes right will match those profiles and then they will get a message that reads.
“If only it was that easy for those in need of a life-saving organ to find a match.” Tinder’s director of European communications Hermione Way commented that users normally decide to swipe left or right with the hope that someone may be the date they are looking for. “While those swiping decisions are important and could be the first step to a successful relationship, we hope that the NHS profiles featuring Jamie, Jade and Gemma will encourage people to make and act upon a different decision too – to sign up as an organ donor,” Hermione said.
Whereas a third of the Britain’s population have signed up to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register, there are much more people out there who support donation but have not made de definite decision to register themselves, according to Sally Johnson, head of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant.
Johnson pointed out that signing up to the donor register takes just a few minutes, not more than the time it takes to make some swipes on Tinder. That should make it easier for people to take part and save other’s lives.
Tinder’s chief executive Sean Rad said last month that 1.5 million dates are arranged every week through the app. One million of those are first dates. In a daily basis, the highly addictive app records 1.8 billion swipes.