8th December 2011, 1.29pm:
I had intended to make this blog about the process of getting ethical approval for a research study: hard work and poorly understood by anyone who hasn’t done it, including me until last year! But I am suddenly swamped by new items on my ‘to do’ list as wheels have suddenly started turning, with plans to build a commercial partnership.
Click-East is the name of our research project, but the focus is on developing a computer- game-based intervention for children with autism, in the form of an iPad app. My job is to develop the game, then test it – hence the planned clinical trial. But the really important thing is the game itself – it needs to be good, it needs to work, and it needs to be available for people to use. As I’ve said below, there is a real risk that once my research project is over the game will be left gathering dust if I don’t find someone to adopt it as their own.
This ‘adoption’ process is keeping me really busy right now and I do feel guilty that I’m not working on the research itself so much. But of course, we’re not developing the app just so we can do some research. The trial is not an end in itself. The ultimate objective is to help people with autism and their families. And I strongly believe that finding a commercial partner is the way to do that.