The proposed working group will initially focus on three activities.
1. Development of an antifungal spectrum of activity app for smart phones and tablets.
There are many excellent websites that contain antifungal susceptibility data in the form of MICs and breakpoints, including the EUCAST-AFST website. Our aim is utilize the open-source data held by EUCAST to develop an easy-to-use smart phone app that will enable the user to quickly find all the relevant susceptibility data for a particular pathogenic fungus whilst on the hospital ward or in the laboratory. For less common pathogens we will use published MIC data, and local data bases where available. Many students also use iPads for their undergraduate and post-graduate studies so the app will be formatted for this platform as well.
The application will comprise a data base of fungal pathogens and antifungal agents that will be searchable through specifically designed interfaces. In the initial phase of the development the following defined parameters will be available on the application.
Information available for each pathogen:
- effective antifungal treatments
- susceptibility and resistance profiles
- reference citations, which can be emailed to colleagues
Information available for each antifungal agent:
- Pathogens that it is effective against
- Reference citations
Funding for this specific Working Group Project will be made in the form of an education grant by Gilead Science Europe. The data base and application will be developed by Synergy Medical (www.synergymedical.co.uk) who have extensive experience in developing digital platforms to execute medical education initiatives. In collaboration with ISHAM, the application will be promoted widely.
2. Explore the suitability of Nearpod (www.nearpod.com) for creating and downloading interactive multimedia mycology presentations.
These ‘lessons’ can be shared with students, laboratory teams and other groups, and controlled in real time. Students’ performance and competencies can be submitted to a designated tutor and then their results can be monitored on an individual and aggregate basis. Members of the proposed Working Group have some experience of working with this tool but will explore and develop further. This will be a no-cost project.
3.Visualised laboratory procedures videos.
Many mycology procedures and new assays can be taught remotely. A good example is the ‘publication’ of the Aspergillus lateral flow device in the Journal of Individualised Experiments (https://www.jove.com/author/Christopher_Thornton). The proposed working group will explore and create suitable visualized articles for this journal and others. The working group will apply for funding to support this specific activity. In addition, videos made by ISHAM members will be hosted on the ISHAM website