Edinburgh Student designs iPhone App to raise awareness of disease

Edinburgh Student designs iPhone App to raise awareness of disease

12 June 2012

Medical student and Games Artist Ciléin Kearns from Derry in Northern Ireland has designed and created an iPhone game to raise awareness of meningitis and septicaemia.

Ciléin, aged 20, is studying medicine at University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Medical Art at the University of Dundee. He knows only too well that meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that can kill in hours and it’s often a race against time to get medical help.

In the UK and Ireland, around 3,600 people are affected each year. One in 10 people who contract the diseases lose their lives and many more are left with life changing disabilities including: brain damage, amputations, hearing loss and epilepsy.

Ciléin’s app is an arcade game called Symptom Scenes which features a cast of cute characters suffering from meningitis or septicaemia and it has been endorsed by MRF.

Ciléin said: “Just knowing the symptom names isn't enough, you need to be able to recognise them - and fast! My solution has been to design this app as a game that's suitable for kids and adults alike, as a fun way to learn something useful. As a game I think people will spend more time with the information, coming back to play again and again which should reinforce learning. By knowing the signs, and acting quickly they could save a life; I've just made that learning more enjoyable and accessible as a free game."

Chris Head, Chief Executive of MRF said: “Meningitis and septicaemia can affect people of all ages, striking in minutes and killing in hours. We have our own iPhone app (‘Meningitis – Know the Symptoms’) which has proved popular with students since it was launched in 2010 but we’re delighted that Ciléin has come up with another way of raising awareness of these diseases. We hope his app will encourage even more people to be aware of the signs and symptoms and also support the work of MRF which funds vital research into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia."

To download the Symptom Scenes app go to: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/symptom-scenes/id528987761?mt=8#)!

To download the MRF app go to: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app//id484022005?ls=1&mt=8

Sam Williams
Media Relations Manager

Hi, I’m Sam and I’m MRF's PR Manager.

If you want to know more about this story call me on 0333 405 626251, out of office hours on 07875 498047 or email me