Skip to main content

End user engagement

Home > Working Collaboratively > End User Engagement

One of the main risks facing any new technology is its acceptance by the end user. To mitigate this risk from the outset, i-sense researchers work closely with various potential end users to gain an understanding of end user needs for an early-warning sensing system and the potential impact of such a system on existing clinical and surveillance practices.

We are engaging with a wide range of potential users of our technologies, including clinical leads, hospital managers, patient representatives, local communities and field workers, and healthcare commissioners in the UK and internationally.

We aim to identify how and where new sensing systems can bring maximum benefit and to evaluate the impact of our technologies on infectious diseases. This will help us design the system required to meet the needs of the end user.

Find out more about how we have been engaging with potential end users of our tools and technologies: 



User testing of i-sense HIV online pathways 

This year i-sense researchers engaged with potential end users of the i-sense HIV online pathways of the eSexual Health Clinic. The online platform aims to support people who are testing for HIV at home using HIV self-tests or self-sampling kits. Think aloud qualitative interviews were conducted with a sample of twenty-seven users, including some living with HIV who were recruited through a London-based HIV charity, Positive East. To generate the input of people living with HIV in the development of these pathways, one or more focus groups will be held in 2020 to engage in collaborative analysis of
the data.

Acknowledgements: This research was led by Dr Karen Lloyd, Dr Jo Gibbs, Prof Pam Sonnenberg and Prof Ann Blandford, UCL, and Prof Claudia Estcourt, Glasgow Caledonian University

Co-creating mHealth interventions for HIV with potential end-users

Researchers from the m-Africa and i-sense projects have been working with communities in rural South Africa to understand how mobile health (mHealth) interventions can help address barriers to HIV testing and linkage to care. The formative work has just been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Acknowledgements: Oluwafemi Adeagbo and Carina Herbst, AHRI, Ann Blandford, Rachel McKendry, and Maryam Shahmanesh, UCL, Claudia Estcourt, Glasgow Caledonian University, and Janet Seeley, LSHTM.

Can digital resources for HIV provide appropriate emotional support?

Research from i-sense members at UCL seeks to understand whether currently available digital health technologies and online information related to HIV offers adequate emotional support.

Acknowledgements: Aneesha Singh, Jo Gibbs and Ann Blandford, UCL. 



m-Africa workshop

On the 12 & 13 December, the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) hosted the m-Africa workshop in Durban. The project is a two-year Medical Research Council GCRF Foundation Award that started in April 2017. m-Africa has allowed researchers from University College London, Imperial College London, and AHRI to work together to evaluate the feasibility of introducing mobile phone-connected tools to improve access to HIV testing, as well as linkage to care, in KwaZulu-Natal. The workshop provided an opportunity for m-Africa researchers to present the results of their work to academics, industry leaders, and members of the Department of Health.

Acknowledgements: This workshop was organised by Dr Kobus Herbst and Carina Herbst, AHRI, and Prof Rachel McKendry and Erin Manning, UCL. 

Can data visualisation help inform health interventions?

New research from i-sense members at UCL, in collaboration with the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI), looks at ways data visualisation can help population surveillance sites better utilise and understand the large amounts of data they collect for disease surveillance. The study took place at AHRI, which is a Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) site that captures specific population data to monitor health changes brought about by the HIV epidemic in the area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. By working with AHRI researchers during their Treatment as Prevention trial in 2016, we were able to develop our data dashboards alongside the trial to explore some of these challenges and identify where data visualisation could prove helpful to the varied groups of end-users. The Treatment as Prevention trial site included more than 100 staff members, of which 20 were selected to trial the dashboard, including scientific staff, operational staff, nursing staff, and Community Advisory Board members.  

Acknowledgements: David Concannon and Dr Ed Manley, UCL, and Dr Kobus Herbst, AHRI. 

i-sense patient engagement workshop

With the help of a Patient Public Involvement Starter Grant from the NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, Dr Harriet Gliddon, an i-sense Postdoc in the McKendry group, held a consultation with people who are living with HIV to understand how i-sense research developing a rapid test for HIV viral load could be used by individuals in the home and link them to digital healthcare systems.

Acknowledgements: This workshop was led by Dr Harriet Gliddon in collaboration with Erin Manning, Prof Rachel McKendry, Dr Jo Gibbs, Dr Valérian Turbé, Dr Ben Miller, Jobie Budd UCL, and Chris Isaacs, Connected Diagnostics.