Entry 7

  1. List ten non-obvious assumptions about your target customers (or organizations) that you need to validate. 
  • Assume the organization we will be working with (World Hope) has connections to specific, well respected medical professionals that can evaluate our device
  • Assume the organization (World Hope) has connections to CHW training facilities that we can visit and receive feedback from the CHWs about if think the device is easy to use/practical for local village medical visits
  • Assume the people of Sierra Leone will want to be screened for sickle cell anemia
  • Assume the people of Sierra Leone believe there is a benefit to knowing if they have sickle cell anemia/carry the trait for sickle cell anemia
  • Assume when interviewing prospective customers (the local people) they will be honest about how sickle cell anemia affects their lives and the community as a whole
  • Assume the organization sees our medical device as a device that will help improve the society and will have a lasting benefit
    • If the organization does not see the benefit of the device they will be less likely to help us implement it into the medical system
  • Assume there is not a stigma behind sickle cell anemia
  • Assume the people of Sierra Leone do not have an issue with having blood samples taken
  • Assume seeking medical treatment or medical advice is free will of everyone in the society
    • That the husband does not have complete control over his wife and children when deciding if they should go get screen for sickle cell or any other medical treatment/medical screening
  • Assume the organization we will be working with has connections to outlets that will help us advertise the device
  1. List ten hypotheses about your project that you need to test during fieldwork.
  • Is the structure of the test strip device understood by local CHWs, is it easy to use?
  • The results (lines on the test strip) are easily understood, directions that will be provided are clear.
  • The test will be administered by CHWs and they will be storing the test strips when not in use.
    • We need to figure out if test strips need to be kept in a controlled environment and what the environment is (needs to be figured out before fieldwork)
      • How they react to humidity, heat, light
  • The test strips will be delivered in bulk shipments to hospitals/CHW centers (meeting places) one a month (or once every few months).
  • Test strips will be available at doctor offices/hospitals, could/should be used as a screening device at birth.
  • The test strip will be advertised throughout the community so that the people know to go see a CHW to get tested.
  • The test strip will be recommended by medical professionals (doctors) when patients go to see them at their offices/hospitals.
  • Patients will understand what the test does, what their results mean and what the next steps should be
    • Will be educated by CHWs/doctors/other medical professionals
  • Patients will allow the CHWs/doctor/other medical professionals to take a small blood sample that will be needed for the device
  • Patients will actively seek the test and will want to be screened for sickle cell anemia

I think I bring strong communication skills to the team. I believe I am able to talk and build a connection with almost anyone in a short amount of time; a skill I have developed being a camp counselor for the past four years. A strength I think I have developed more while being apart of the sickle cell anemia project is knowing when we should just go for it even if we aren’t exactly sure what the outcome will be or if we don’t know exactly what the process will be. To be specific, a lot of our work is based on previous research but slightly modified therefore our procedures are not the same and we are working to develop our own. A weakness I knew would affect the project and still effects the project is my lack of lab skills. I have already learned so much from working in the lab these past 3 months however, my background in basic chemistry is not enough to help contribute and understand the exact process. I have been working to overcome this weakness by researching articles that are similar to our research as well as going through the slides and adding comments and questions so I learn and understand exactly what we are doing to improve our device.

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