Dundee 2014


Gateway to The Lung Ranger

The L.A.S.S.O. Interface

To simulate how the L.A.S.S.O. could be used in the real world we created a software application to accompany the hardware. The L.A.S.S.O. Interface was developed to show how the results gathered by the L.A.S.S.O. could be automatically sent to the relevant people. The graphical user interface (GUI) was developed in Visual C# to interact with a local SQL Database. The database is composed of four tables, with the following columns:

  • Clinic: Stores the details of a clinic
  • Medical: Stores the details of a member of medical personnel
  • Patient: Stores the details of a cystic fibrosis patient
  • Results: Stores the results of patient tests
The schema diagram of the database is as follows:

As shown in the diagram each entry in the Patient and Medical staff member is related to a clinic. This is to allow for the automatic transfer of data when tests are carried out. The Results table then stores the results of each patient test.

The interface allows for the user to log in as either a patient or member of medical staff (Fig 1.), with each being able to carry out different operations. Once a patient is logged in they are presented with a view that shows them the information that is stored about them (excluding their password) and the information about their clinic (Fig 2.). They can proceed from there to take a test. This will require the L.A.S.S.O. hardware to be attached to the computer they are using. The Interface goes through the procedures for a test to be taken, instructing a test plate to be inserted into the L.A.S.S.O. containing just an E. coli sample with no sputum. This allows the L.A.S.S.O. to run a calibration test so it knows how much background light is present. Once the the plate is inserted they begin the test controlled through the Interface and a progress bar informs the user how long the test has left. During the test 10 readings are taken and averaged to get the final voltage level. Once the test has been completed they are informed of the base reading and prompted to enter the actual sample which contains the plate with our engineered E. coli system and the sputum. The user then runs the test again and the same procedure is followed, with every action necessary being prompted through the on-screen instructions built into the Interface. The new reading then has the base reading subtracted from it to give the final sample result. Through the use of calibration of known voltage levels for different bioluminescence levels based on bacterial load the result is obtained. The user, i.e. the patient, is then presented with this information. It is also sent via email to all the medical staff connected to the clinic that the patient attends. This simulates the automatic transfer of data to medical staff, reducing the chance of important information being delayed. The result is then stored in the Results table along with the date, and the patient's information is updated to show that the current date was the last time they took a test.

If a member of medical staff logs in they will see a completely different view. They will view a list of the patients currently attending the clinic they work at. The list shows each patient's name, the last date they took a test and the last time they were reminded to take a test (Fig 3.). The user can then interact with each patient in one of two different ways. The first is double click on the patient's name. This opens up the patient's profile, showing all their information. This includes a graph which details their test results over time. This section of the application simulates the use of an electronic patient record allowing the medical staff easy access to the information they need. The other operation the medical staff can carry out is select a “Remind” button, this sends an email to the patient to take a test so that their bacterial load may be monitored.

This software application is meant to simulate the full service that would be made available in real production. The patient would most likely have control of the L.A.S.S.O. either through an inbuilt screen or smartphone application with the information being stored on a server. The medical staff would then interact with the data through a web portal.