Customisable game developed to help educate patients about biobanking
King’s Health Partners Cancer Biobank at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Focus Games have developed a digital biobanking game. Here, Dr. Cheryl Gillett, Head of Biobanking at King’s College London, tells us more.
Why have a game about biobanking?
We know that many patients struggle with the amount of information they receive at or before their hospital appointment, not only about their condition but also about invitations to join clinical trials or studies. So, where does that leave your carefully crafted biobank information sheet? All too often at the bottom of the pile, unread or given only a cursory glance. Yes – we do of course talk to patients about biobanking, but these discussions are often squeezed in during a busy clinic. So, we thought, why not take a new, additional approach?
With support from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, we’ve created a digital game containing all the essential ingredients of an information leaflet, but which is interactive, fun and can be played in segments.
What’s it all about?
‘Sammy Sample’ is your guide and question master as he takes you on a journey from hospital clinic to biobank to research lab. Along the way he’ll show you the impact that research using donated samples has made on patient care today. He’ll also test your knowledge – that's the game part, get it wrong and you’ll see an unhappy Sammy!
How was it developed?
Knowing the information we wanted to include was the easy part. Focus Games then took this information and transformed it into a series of biobank consent-related questions and research anecdotes.
The team wove the character Sammy through different aspects of biobanking as he arrives at the hospital and moves from a clinic room to the Biobank, into the research lab, and finally highlighting how biobanking really does help improve patient treatment.
Of course, we involved patients and visitors from the outset, covering the overall concept, character development, and storyline. They pulled no punches in telling us what they liked, didn’t like, and wanted in a game! So, it has been well tested on our patient volunteers.
Can I use the game myself and/or adapt it for my own biobank or resource?
The game can be downloaded from the App store or Google Play free of charge. Find out more at www.biobankinggame.com.
The game can be adapted for your establishment or study. Whilst some scenes are specific to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, such as the eye-catching Guy’s Cancer Centre, the journey Sammy takes is typical of many biobanks and research studies.
If you would like to add your logo, change the scenes, include different questions, or even use the game for a clinical study, it can be personalised to your requirements.
Additionally, alongside the game, we also have a version that is suitable for information screens. Here, it is as if you’re watching someone playing the game as they answer the questions and get Sammy’s response. The storyline can be divided into different sections, so that biobank information can easily be interspersed between other information displayed on the screen.
So, whether your context is a hospital, GP or dentist’s waiting room, you can give patients snippets of information about your biobank, so they are better informed when asked to give consent.
Want to find out more?
Why not come play the game and find out how you could adapt it for your own needs? Cheryl will be providing a demonstration of it at the UK Biobanking Showcase in Nottingham, being held on 19th November 2019.
The exact time and location of her demonstration will be included in the conference app, which will be available to all Showcase attendees.
Cheryl will also be available throughout the Showcase to answer any questions you may have. You can contact her through the Showcase app as soon as it is released, in a few weeks’ time!