BBC Health Check tackles health on a global scale. Instead of catching up with researchers from LSTM in some far-reaching tropical country we got to chat about insecticide resistance a little closer to home. While touring the Royal Society Summer Exhibition, presenter Claudia Hammond took some time to interview volunteers at each of the health-related exhibits.
To hear the podcast ‘Cutting-edge Medicine from the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition’ click here. Skip to 03:35 for ResistanceSim.
A short video compilation from our time at the Royal Society.
A huge thank you to:
- Josie for including ETCH and ResistanceSim in the fantastic Mosquito Diaries Exhibit.
- Elli and the LSTM Comms department for all of their support developing and promoting the exhibit.
- The Mosquito Diaries volunteers, whose passion and knowledge made this event a success.
Members of the vector department and volunteers from LSTM have been searching for bugs of a very different kind this month. As part of the development process it is vital we test the game on as many devices as possible. This will highlight any usability issues and technical bugs before we take the game into the test market phase.
Since the beta testing session, the development team has been working hard, fixing and testing bugs, while implementing some changes to address usability issues highlighted by our volunteers.
The beta testing phase was the first time we’ve been able to observe people play and interact with the game. Feedback has been used to adjust the game difficulty and user interface. In general, everyone was surprised to see the level of detail and quality of the graphics used, the intro animation was definitely a hit. Some found locating information and actions in the game a little tricky, so we’ve added a game map which details what actions, data, and characters are available at each map level.
We can not stress enough how much we appreciated the detailed feedback we received from our volunteers, which has been pivotal for improving the game design.
The beta testing phase focused on evaluating the usability of the game’s interface and reliability of the software. The test market phase we’re moving into now will evaluate the game as a learning tool, by assessing people’s perception of the game and if there has been any change in their knowledge or attitudes as a result of playing the game.
If you’re in London between the 4th and 10th of July 2016 come see us at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition.
The Mosquito Diaries is an interactive exhibit put together and run by ETCH and members of the Vector Department at The Liverpool School of Tropical. From buzz wire games to little buzzers in cages, the public got a rare insight into the cutting-edge research conducted at LSTM. The exhibit had its first outing at the Everyman Playhouse as part of Liverpool’s Light Night 2016.
The exhibit aimed to inform the public about the challenges of insecticide resistance; demonstrating the benefit of combining advances in technology and traditional science to protect the interventions that have saved countless lives. The ResistanceSim bioassay mini games made an ideal addition and gave both kids and adults alike the opportunity to take on the role of a lab technician without the risk of getting bitten. A purpose built tablet edition of the mini games and custom questions were developed just for the occasion.
After the success of Light Night the whole team is really looking forward to the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibit. To keep up with the Mosquito Diaries follow us on twitter @MosDiaries
The journey to beta has been filled with joy, anger, frustration, and pride. Often we came to the shattering realisation of why no one has ever tried to create an insecticide resistance management simulation game. Other times we reveled in the immersive graphics being produced by the talented artists at EM Studios. Either way, we’re really excited to finally be able to share the game and hear your initial thoughts.
The beta version of the game will be released on the 12th of May 2016. The primary aim is to assess the games usability and stability.
If you would like to be a beta tester and receive a copy of the game then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime check out the following ResistanceSim preview.
Finally, if you want to know anything about insecticide resistance management why not speak to our lead game coder, who after months of being knee deep in complex equations, baffling terminology and translating research that constantly contradicts itself into game rules we can safely say he’s become a bit of an expert.
And on that note, on behalf of ETCH and everyone that has been a part of this development project, I would like to give a huge thank you to everyone at EM Studios. Without your dedication and enthusiasm for this project we wouldn’t be where we are today.
ETCH and researchers from LSTM, working partnership with the University of the Philippines, have been awarded over £590,000 to pilot a digital game aimed at increasing the number of men who have sex with men (MSM) knowing their HIV status in the Philippines.
ETCH, the International Public Health Department and the Capacity Research Unit received a Newton Fund grant, administered through its delivery partner, the Medical Research Council (MRC).
HIV is a significant health issue in the Philippines. In May 2015 the Philippines Department of Health (PDOH) Aids Registry reported 22,684 people living with HIV/AIDS, with a 51% increase in new cases from the same period the previous year. The overwhelming majority of those new cases were sexually transmitted, of which 86% were among MSM.
According to observation by the PDOH high risk groups, especially MSM, tend not to come forward for testing, and the two week time period between testing and diagnosis in the current system leads to few returns for treatment and care. This is an important contributing factor to the Philippines having the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world (WHO, 2014). There is a clear need to address delays in the current diagnosis system and pilot targeted interventions to improve uptake of HIV testing and counselling (HTC) services among high risk groups.
As the HIV epidemic worsens a more positive change is occurring in the Philippines. Increased online connectivity and a growing economy has generated a significant growth in digital gaming in the Philippines, and a potential new avenue of communication for the public health sector.”
The project will run from Januray 2016 to December 2018.
Keep an eye on the blog for project updates and news.