New year. New ideas. Welcome to the first FUEL blog for 2022, in which we pull on our newly gifted socks, draw close to the fire and consider all that's great in the world of branding, health and wellbeing.
- Inclusion in medical education
- Are you listening?
- Take the test
Are you sitting comfortably?
Nigerian-born medical student Chidiebere Ibe noticed something odd about the medical textbooks he was using. Not one of the illustrations within depicted patients with black skin. While this discovery highlighted an unchallenged lack of diversity in medical publishing, it also had potentially serious implications for medical trainees and accurate clinical diagnoses. Many conditions and signs present themselves differently depending on the skin colour of the patient, so shouldn't all colours be represented?
To redress the balance, Ibe himself has created medical illustrations featuring patients with black skin. These have been widely shared and praised on social media.
“I believe everybody deserves to be seen. In the US there are a lot of health care disparities. So this is a call to everybody that everyone should matter, and there should be health equality for everybody.”
Lend an ear
'It's been a year...' So begins ITV's campaign Britain Get Talking, which returns this January in partnership with mental health charities Mind and YoungMinds. This time around, we're being asked to lend our ears to someone who needs the time for a chat. It's well known that connecting with others reduces stress and anxiety, and is generally good for our mental health. Especially now, after another year on the COVID rollercoaster, we're all feeling the need to offload. At the centre of the campaign is a 2-minute slot created by Uncommon, featuring a series of familiar faces having a good old moan to a remarkably patient make-up artist. The message is clear: just a couple of minutes to listen can make a huge difference, and it’s something we can all do.
Given recent discussions (and denials) from the UK Government about the proposed end to free lateral flow tests, the question for many people is, what comes next? In the US at least the answer looks something like this – a new at-home molecular COVID-19 test launched by Detect, a new startup headed by CEO Hugo Barra, formerly an executive at Google and Meta. The Detect test looks for the virus' genetic material, rather like the laboratory PCR test, and so differs from rapid antigen tests that look for proteins on the surface of the virus – arguably with less accuracy. The makers claim the device can be 're-programmed' to look for other genetic material and there are plans to diversify into other tests, for STIs and respiratory infections.