Understanding Our End Users Part 2

At Serenity Cafe, Yannis gave us valuable input about the usefulness of our device for heroin users, which we incorporated into our design. However, we still needed to make our design accessible for MDMA and diet pill users. That’s when we got in contact with Dr. Kings College London’s Dr. Adam Winstock.

Not only is Dr. Winstock is an Honorary Consultant Addictions Psychiatrist at Maudsley Hospital and Lewisham Drug and Alcohol Service, but he is also the author of the world’s largest global drug survey, which was published this year. The survey was completed by 120,000 people worldwide, and revealed some very interesting statistics regarding drugs and their use, which Dr. Winstock was then able to use to provide specific suggestions for our design.

Dr. Winstock shared that the large majority of MDMA and diet pill users belong to younger generations. He therefore suggested that we should incorporate software into our design in the form of a smartphone application, since these generations are especially adept with technology. He went on to outline different ways MDMA and diet pill users, as well as heroin users, might find a smartphone app useful in the context of using our biosensor.

In the case of MDMA users, they might want to be able to track their usage and compare it to averages in their area or nationwide, in order to better understand their usage. The application therefore would have to be able to take a picture of the biosensor, interpret the results, store the data and compare it to other users.

This would also have a very significant practical advantage for MDMA and DNP users who may misinterpret the colour change of the biosensor, as the app would be able to provide a simple text-based output of the results in the form of ‘PMA detected’ or ‘DNP detected’. This practical advantage further applies to heroin users, who would otherwise have to interpret subtle colour changes, which denote varying purity percentages, with their eyes. The camera on a smartphone, being much more sensitive than the human eye, would provide a better alternative. Check out the next bubble in ‘Our Story’ to read about the biohack we held to help brainstorm ideas for how to design the app, or, click on the button below to see the specifics of how the final app was made: