ETCH: Engaging Tools for Communication in Health

The unit develops, delivers and analyses the value of digital solutions for training, communication and engagement in public health.

The ETCH unit focuses on the translation of world class research into operational practice ,working closely with health ministries, local researchers and communities to find the best solution to public health challenges. 

Current projects include

  • Digital gaming to address sustainable use of effective vector control interventions, promoting good insecticide resistance management practices[health system focus]
  • Digital gaming to address gaps and barriers to uptake of HIV testing and counselling [community focus]
  • Digital gaming to address uptake of new diagnostics through simulated standard operating procedures [health system focus]

Please contact us if you are considering incorporating game based communication and learning tools into your disease control programme or research project, we are always keen to hear about your ideas and assist in any way we can.  

For more information and regular updates on all ETCH projects please visit our blog.

Background

ETCH was established in February 2014. It is comprised of LSTM researchers and support staff. The unit brings together expertise from academia, public health and the games industry to develop, evaluate, and assist with the delivery of digital solutions to address key health challenges in resource-poor settings.

ETCH’s research focusses on determining measurable impact of incorporating digital gaming into operational training programmes and communication campaigns for disease control. All products developed through the unit are tailor made to address the needs, preferences and skillset of the target end users and made freely available. ETCH also aims to build capacity in disease control programmes, universities and local government in resource poor settings to develop and validate public health games through custom frameworks of evaluation and the inclusion of project partners in the product development and analysis process. 

The ETCH Team

Dr Marlize Coleman is the Principal Investigator for all ETCH research activities and founder of the team. She has over 20 years’ experience in delivering operational public health tools in Africa and built capacity to monitor interventions and evaluate impact in multiple countries. 
Edward Thomsen is the primary advisor in ETCH. His main role within LSTM is to provide technical assistance for malaria control programmes across Africa, in areas such as insecticide resistance management and entomological surveillance.
Charlotte Hemingway is a Training Material Developer for ETCH and uses her work to explore and analyse innovative ways to train operational staff and communicate health messages in resource poor settings. 

Together they support the coordination, management, roll out and analysis of all ETCH projects.  

EM Studios  is a professional game development company based in Scotland with over 10 years’ experience in digital gaming across a variety of platforms. They are a talented team of digital artists and coders and together they bring our games to life.

The ETCH project portfolio

ResistanceSim HIV Gaming Engaging and Testing (G.E.T) Project European Union, Horizon 2020 Project