My Special Aflac Duck® Makes New Friends at the General Meeting of the Japan Medical Association
With nearly 24,000 My Special Aflac Ducks delivered free of charge in the United States, Northern Ireland and Japan to date, it’s no surprise to see one in the hands of a pediatric cancer or sickle cell patient. But in April, the cuddly companion was a special guest at the General Meeting of the Japan Medical Association.
Held every four years, this meeting brings together Japanese physicians, medical experts, researchers, students and the general public for an open discussion. As part of an exhibit, Aflac Japan Division Manager Yuichi Kase held a hands-on session where children could interact and play with My Special Aflac Duck and create beautiful artwork that was displayed around the exhibit. Meanwhile, parents learned about the needs of pediatric cancer patients and how the features of this robotic companion can help comfort kids with this disease.
Features of My Special Aflac Duck include an interactive mobile app that allows children to virtually bathe and feed their duck, customizable soundscapes that provide soothing visuals and sounds, smart sensors that enable touch and awareness of light and sounds, and a calming heartbeat and breathing vibrations. To help children express themselves, the duck also comes with seven feelings emoji discs that, when tapped to a sensor on the duck's chest, prompt My Special Aflac Duck to emulate each emotion.
Introduced in 2018 after 18 months of research, My Special Aflac Duck is an award-winning social robot initially designed to help bring comfort and joyful moments to children with cancer; in 2022, the Aflac expanded the program to included various medical equipment designed specifically to address the sickle cell disease experience. Since the first delivery in 2018, Aflac has distributed nearly 24,000 My Special Aflac Ducks free of charge to kids above the age of 3 who are diagnosed with cancer or sickle cell — more than 1,400 have been given to pediatric cancer patients in Japan.
Learn more about My Special Aflac Duck and Aflac’s 28-year, $168 million-plus commitment to support children with cancer and sickle cell disease and their families at myspecialaflacduck.com.
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