GSIF Blog Post #3

For our project to see nay success we need people to be affected by our answer to the sickle cell problem within Sierra Leone. Therefore there must be several stakeholders who are able to benefit from our product. One of these groups is the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone. If they were able to collect reliable data about sickle cell anemia they could treat it more appropriately. They could also profit off the possible treatment cost and the costs of our product. Similarly, Lehigh would also have much to benefit from our project being successful. They would most be able to receive recognition for the success of one of their own projects. They could boast about their program and its success and also receive money due to the project. Moreover, nurses in charge and the community health workers would be able to administer reliable meaningful diagnostic tests to their patients, creating a more medically informed community. This new test would also encourage people to see their local health official leading to a society which is more informed about their own health and how they should live their lives. This also benefits the people of Sierra Leone who would be able to know if their future child would have the disease. They could also live a healthier life knowing if they had the traits in the traits in their genomes. In summary, for a project to have purpose and a need is for their to be people who can benefit from the project.

Making sure our project has enough credibility and that our product is valid is essential, or else people would not use it. Therefore, our team must work to make sure our product is consistent, reliable, and has valid scientific evidence. In order to make our product consistent,  we would need to find the best nitrocellulose membrane, glass pad, absorbance pad and backing for our product. Each one of these materials needs to be tested rigorously to ensure that it will work at a high percentage rate. Some materials may be made better than others and we should look for the materials that have shown the best results over our use and the use of others in order to determine which materials will be consistent enough for our product. Without this, we would run the risk of our product failing while people are trying to get important results, making people lose faith that our product is consistent. Furthermore, it is essential that we also have reliable results. To insure this we must run optimization tests in order to determine the optimal amount of hemoglobin, buffers and beads to use for our product. Without running optimization tests we run the risk of having incorrect (or nonexistent) results. Moreover, we should continue to look into the many ways people have created test strips in the past and look into the practicality of using other methods and or materials to ensure that we have the most reliable results. If we were to create a product which was incorrectly diagnosing people (or not diagnosing people with sickle cell) we would lose all credibility due to the fact that nobody would be sure the result they got was correct or not. Finally, we have to be sure we understand the science behind our product or else nobody would have any faith in it. When we create a working test strip we will need to run tests to make sure we are seeing the results we expected or if we are witnessing some other binding that happens to give us results. If we were to create a product without a thorough understanding of what is happening we would have no ability to validate our own product. We need to know exactly what is happening and why or else nobody would feel confident enough to use our strips. Overall, people need to feel safe and confident in our product before they will use it. In order to do this we will need to prove the reliability, consistency, and the science behind our product. We will do this through many tests of materials and concentrations which will allow us to determine which combination of concentrations and materials will make our product the most consistent and reliable.

-Jaro Perera

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