Ahead of World Diabetes Day on 14 November, the team at diabetes.bh is proud to be launching a new project. As always, all projects that are undertaken by diabetes.bh aim to fulfill one or more of the objectives we set out to achieve with the diabetes.bh platform. They are:
This year’s theme for World Diabetes Day is “Eyes on Diabetes“. It is an opportune time for us to be presenting to you the concept of our new project, as we believe it is aligned very closely with this year’s global theme.
This new project aims to create a fully immersive Virtual Reality (VR) Education experience to help educate students, patients and parents on the prevention and management of diabetes. The ability to truly experience something as if it was real makes VR an unparalleled resource for education, particularly on issues of health where it is often difficult to engage the general public, and young people in particular.
We are currently in discussions with different developers from Dubai, Budapest and Dublin, to understand the best format to develop these education modules. The two options we are considering at this point are:
VR technology has existed for some years, but only in the last two has it improved to the point of wide user adoption. The traditional use of this technology has been for entertainment purposes such as gaming and interactive cinematic experiences. New uses have emerged including training (sports, military, healthcare), and the diabetes.bh VR modules aim to tap into this technology and extend its use to health education and advocacy.
As a pilot, we will create one immersive video module with content that can be interactive within the video module and that can be customized for the use of different client groups, and different partners. The aim is to start development in March 2017, with the interim period being dedicated to developing the storyline and concept, and securing funding.
In the area of funding, we have applied to Expo 2020’s “Innovation Impact Grants”. It is an on-going innovation partnership programme of Expo Dubai 2020 LLC, and a tool to engage stakeholders in the delivery of four objectives: innovation, impact, partnership and engagement. The deadline for proposal submissions was 30 September, and we successfully completed this step. Should we be successful in being shortlisted and then awarded, we can get the full development and coordination costs for the diabetes.bh VR education modules funded.
Additionally, we are engaging with other stakeholders to secure this funding, especially in the case that the project alings with the objectives of other partners. Indeed, the greater the collaboration we can get from partners, the wider the impact of the diabetes.bh VR education modules.
As an alternative, we are also studying the feasibility of launching a crowdfunding effort to launch the project.
In the meantime, we would like to engage with potential partners in other areas, such as:
The timeline for the project allows us to plan for a launch of the VR modules at the next IDF World Diabetes Congress in December 2017. It will be hosted in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. We have been fortunate to receive the support of the International Diabetes Federation in this endeavour, who have graciously offered the diabetes.bh team an exhibition space at the next World Diabetes Congress.
This, along with other support services leading up to the congress will help reach further stakeholders. In this upcoming period, we implore you to assist us in these efforts and put people and organisations in touch with us should they be seeking to achieve the same objectives.
Additionally, your thoughts and opinions on the ideal modules that could be developed would be more than welcome, as well as ideas on increasing the impact of these modules through communication and partnership opportunities.
We will use your ideas and inputs to ensure a strong application, built on understanding the community’s needs, can be submitted for the next round of the Expo 2020 Live Grant, and to share with other stakeholders throughout our 14-month journey.
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