Our latest flu work features in the Science Museum's 'Too much information: Health tests today' exhibit from 29th June-29th September 2015.
i-sense was chosen as a key example of cutting-edge research in the evolution of health diagnostics, as people increasingly search for ways to manage their own health away from the clinic or hospital.
Featured in the exhibit, are our 'biobarcode' strips (top right-hand image) and our work with Flusurvey.
i-sense biobarcode strips have the potential to detect multiple stains of flu at once and could be connected to a mobile phone for results in minutes.
By accurately identifying and tracking the flu strains circulating around a population, we can help support public health efforts to protect populations from emerging pandemics. The data from our biobarcodes could help us work out people's immunity to certain strains of flu, helping to ensure people at high-risk are prioritised for treatment and vaccination. These tests could also provide us with information about the severity of flu- whether people are showing symptoms or not, when and where that strain is most prominent- so we are better prepared and can intervene quickly when the next year's flu strain emerges.
i-sense and Flusurvey recently offered volunteers of flusurvey.org.uk, an online, flu-monitoring platform, a swab kit to confirm if their reported symptoms were caused by a flu virus or not. Verifying cases of a virus (through laboratory testing and self-tests) is a crucial part of efforts to spot a pandemic flu outbreak. Our swab kits (right-hand photo) and Flusurvey's online questionnaire are both currently on display at the Science Museum.
i-sense tests sit alongside ground-breaking new developments in health diagnostics – including the WHO-approved Ebola tests, which were deployed during the recent outbreak and new prototypes such as those from a MIT team who have been working on modular multiplex tests for conditions as diverse as Ebola, dengue, yellow fever, pregnancy and allergies.
If there's one thing you do this summer, visit this exciting new exhibit!
'Too Much Information Health tests today?' aims to explore the future of health diagnostics and the ethical issues raised by the increasing number of self-diagnosis kits that are available to us. It forms part of the 'Who am I?' gallery and is open from 29 June until 29 September 2015. The Who am I? gallery is supported by the Wellcome Trust (Principal Funder), GSK and the Life Technologies Foundation (Major Sponsors).