Interactive Media Practice MA students participate in a virtual meetup discussing mobile technology in response to COVID-19

On Tuesday 28 April, students from the Interactive Media Practice MA course participated in a virtual meetup discussing innovations in mobile technologies in response to COVID-19.

The session, delivered by an industry professional from Babylon Health and sponsored by Adobe XD, was the first in a series where interdisciplinary professionals around the world leading innovative solutions are helping to assist COVID-19.

It focused on digital health mobile technologies and the Babylon Health app, a care assistant which provides continually updated information on coronavirus from NHS professionals and Public Health England.

The exciting session provided an insight to methods, bridging the gap between research, strategy and execution to solve problems and reduce pressures on healthcare professionals and infrastructure. It also highlighted the research-driven approach, agile methodologies and innovations in mobile technologies for a holistic solution.

Alongside Westminster students, many attendees included professionals from big tech including Amazon, product designers, researchers, policy makers and developers.

Speaking about the virtual meetup, Programme Director of the Interactive Media Practice MA course Savraj Matharu said: “Globally, we have seen a passionate community of scientists, researchers, technologists, engineers and designers working together, bringing collaborative expertise to drive and foster innovation through developing digital solutions to assist efforts in the pandemic.

“Mobile technologies will continue to play a pivotal role in digital health and wider society, with layered innovations in 5G, voice interaction and cloud computing this is likely to increase exponentially in the near future. Given the rate of infection and scale of the pandemic we may need to rethink how we engage, interact with healthcare professionals and safeguarding each other. Digital solutions may provide this, particularly in healthcare.

“The session was particularly enriching for our students, who are used to developing digital solutions in mobile applications through embarking on research-informed practice led approaches. Students were able to engage with a live Q&A, observe best practice, relate research findings providing an insight to a very large and complex project with many stakeholders.”

Talking about the meetup, student Sherina Bigby said: “The virtual meet up was great to attend, it was really beneficial and aligned with user experience methods we learn on the course such as generating personas, user journey mapping and user-centred design at an advanced level. It was very rewarding to see how these techniques and research are being implemented to tackle COVID-19 at the national level.”

Another Interactive Media Practice MA student Reena Dsouza added: “As students, we are really encouraged to take part in activities like this from leading industry professionals. Earlier in the year we did an official design sprint with Google and now this – I feel really empowered and motivated!”

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