Effects of Using Child Personas in the Development of a Digital Peer Support Service for Childhood Cancer Survivors

Background: Peer support services have the potential to support children who survive cancer by handling the physical, mental, and social challenges associated with survival and return to everyday life. Involving the children themselves in the design process allows for adapting services to authentic user behaviors and goals. As there are several challenges that put critical requirements on a user-centered design process, we developed a design method based on personas adapted to the particular needs of children that promotes health and handles a sensitive design context. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of using child personas in the development of a digital peer support service for childhood cancer survivors. Methods: The user group’s needs and behaviors were characterized based on cohort data and literature, focus group interviews with childhood cancer survivors (n=15, 8-12 years), stakeholder interviews with health care professionals and parents (n=13), user interviews, and observations. Data were interpreted and explained together with childhood cancer survivors (n=5) in three explorative design workshops and a validation workshop with children (n=7). Results: We present findings and insights on how to codesign child personas in the context of developing digital peer support services with childhood cancer survivors. The work resulted in three primary personas that model the behaviors, attitudes, and goals of three user archetypes tailored for developing health-promoting services in this particular use context. Additionally, we also report on the effects of using these personas in the design of a digital peer support service called Give Me a Break. Conclusions: By applying our progressive steps of data collection and analysis, we arrive at authentic child-personas that were successfully used to design and develop health-promoting services for children in vulnerable life stages. The child-personas serve as effective collaboration and communication aids for both internal and external purposes.
Journal of Medical Internet Research

Accelerating Precision Drug Development and Drug Repurposing by Leveraging Human Genetics

  Biowebspin, April 12th, 2017

Accelerating Precision Drug Development and Drug Repurposing by Leveraging Human Genetics

by Jill M. Pulley, Jana K. Shirey-Rice, Robert R. Lavieri, Rebecca N. Jerome, Nicole M. Zaleski, David M. Aronoff, Lisa Bastarache, Xinnan Niu, Kenneth J. Holroyd, Dan M. Roden, Eric P. Skaar, Colleen M. Niswender, Lawrence J. Marnett, Craig W. Lindsley, Leeland B. Ekstrom, Alan R. Bentley, Gordon R. Bernard, Charles C. Hong and Joshua C. Denny, in ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies, 2017

The potential impact of using human genetic data linked to longitudinal electronic medical records on drug development is extraordinary; however, the practical application of these data necessitates some organizational innovations. Vanderbilt has created resources such as an easily queried database of >2.6 million de-identified electronic health records linked to BioVU, which is a DNA biobank with more than 230,000 unique samples. To ensure these data are used to maximally benefit and accelerate both de novo drug discovery and drug repurposing efforts, we created the Accelerating Drug Development and Repurposing Incubator, a multidisciplinary think tank of experts in various therapeutic areas within both basic and clinical science as well as experts in legal, business, and other operational domains. The Incubator supports a diverse pipeline of drug indication finding projects, leveraging the natural experiment of human genetics.

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Open for collaboration: an academic platform for drug discovery and development at SciLifeLab.

  Biowebspin, July 11th, 2016

Open for collaboration: an academic platform for drug discovery and development at SciLifeLab.

by Per I. Arvidsson, Kristian Sandberg, Karin Forsberg-Nilsson in Drug Discovery Today, 2016

The Science for Life Laboratory Drug Discovery and Development (SciLifeLab DDD) platform reaches out to Swedish academia with an industry-standard infrastructure for academic drug discovery, supported by earmarked funds from the Swedish government. In this review, we describe the build-up and operation of the platform, and reflect on our first two years of operation, with the ambition to share learnings and best practice with academic drug discovery centers globally. We also discuss how the Swedish Teacher Exemption Law, an internationally unique aspect of the innovation system, has shaped the operation. Furthermore, we address how this investment in infrastructure and expertise can be utilized to facilitate international collaboration between academia and industry in the best interest of those ultimately benefiting the most from translational pharmaceutical research – the patients.

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