Student’s innovation to help fight liver disease scoops award

A DIGITAL platform developed by a Leeds medical student to tackle chronic liver disease has won a prize.

Year 5 MBChB student Matthew Goldsworthy was awarded this year’s Dennis Parker Prize for his project which aims to improve patient understanding of chronic liver disease by using an educational screencast.

The video, which is clinician-narrated, is also supported by on-screen text, diagrams and animations.

It was produced in collaboration with Dr Waleed Fateen, Dr Mark Aldersley, Dr Ian Rowe and Dr Rebecca Jones from the Leeds Liver Unit at St James’s University Hospital.

Matthew, who studies at the University of Leeds, and was awarded £250 for his innovation, says that working on the project  was an excellent opportunity to expand his knowledge and skills.

“The initial development of the screencast required me to consolidate my knowledge of liver cirrhosis management and apply graphic design and video production skills,” he adds.

“The evaluation phase then allowed me to gain experience of recruiting patients to a clinical study, performing statistical analysis and writing journal articles.

“Research and quality improvement projects are an essential component of both undergraduate and postgraduate medical training, so developing a broad range of relevant skills at an early stage can be extremely helpful.”

Matthew also submitted an open access article to the British Medical Journal’s Frontline Gastroenterology journal which reported on an evaluation of his platform.

He, along with co-authors, demonstrated in the article how the screencast led to a significant and sustained improvement in patient knowledge.

The format also rated favourably with patients and families and the approach has potential to be applied in other areas of patient education.

“So far, I have been able to translate my learning from this initiative to further projects during my intercalated degree and medical elective period,” he adds.

“Having a pre-existing baseline also helped me to progress more quickly and be more productive during these later projects.

I would certainly encourage other students to get involved in an enterprising or quality improvement project of some form during their undergraduate studies. My experience has taught me that a lot can be gained from even the simplest of initiatives.

The Dennis Parker Innovation Prize was established by the School of Medicine through the generosity of Dr Dennis Mackinder Parker.

Dr Parker served as a medical officer in the RAF and was awarded the MBE in 1967 for services with the British Joint Services Training Team in Ghana. After leaving the RAF in 1970, he became a GP in Ecclesfield, Sheffield, and practiced there up until his retirement.

The annual award goes to the student whose idea is judged to have the greatest potential impact on education, leadership, teamwork, clinical practice or the community

You can view the screencast on the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust website.