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Covid-19 in-home antibody testing research study

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misterfish

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This morning I received a request to take part in the Covid-19 in-home antibody testing research study being conducted by Imperial College in London in association with The NHS and run by Ipsos Mori

Apparently it relies on a random sample of the population to gauge how many people have been infected with Covid. It is using a finger prick test and gives a result within 10 to 15 minutes.

I'm quite happy to 'do my bit' for this study so followed the instructions to take part by going to the relevant web site and entering an access code included in the letter,

Well, the first question was fine and I confirmed my name, but on the second page it asked me to confirm my year and month of birth - just a 'Yes or No' box to click on. Simple you'd think, but there was no data displayed to confirm! I've tried it using Firefox, Edge and Internet Explorer and all show the same lack of data.

So I was wondering whether anybody else has received this invitation and found their month and year of birth displayed? If I'm not the only one then I reckon a lot of people won't bother which would clearly affect the results of the survey and age is an important factor in this type of study.

I sent a message to Ipsos Mori using a link they gave to let them know.

Jeff (aka misterfish)
 
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misterfish

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Already had a follow up email from Mori to say 'thanks for pointing out the fault and they are working on it and hope to have it fixed this afternoon'. They also gave me a workaround to the problem if I wished to use it.

Good that they responded so quickly, but as a retired programmer/analyst it does make me wonderr what (if any) actual testing they did on the site before going live!

Jeff (aka misterfish)
 

misterfish

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Just tried the system again and they have corrected the error. So I can now expect a test in afew weeks from 14th September!

Jeff (aka misterfish)
 

RogerS

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..... it does make me wonderr what (if any) actual testing they did on the site .....
They did. You were 'it' ! Actually I share your concern. It's not just testing. It's things like the muppets referring to a data item on the website with one name ....say 'User ID'..and calling it something else in the letter they send you...say 'Customer Referece Number'..Note that I have included the obligatory spelling mistakre in these sorts of things.
 

HappyHacker

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Testing is the bit that always comes under pressure as it is always at the end and people commit to the go live date so any over run on specification/development means little or no testing.

It really gives you confidence in the organisation when this sort of things happens. I see it all the time and often tell the company involved, usually with no effect. I have difficulty filling in the boxes even if they are labelled consistently never mind when they try to confuse me.
 

Richard_C

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Good to see we are doing some science so we can follow it.

Having seen some of this kind of imperfect system from the other side, there is often a political imperative. Decision on project yes/no and contractor left to the last minute, then huge ministerial pressure to be able to announce whatever it is is up and running when everybody involved knows its not ready, not tested, and very flakey.

Do you want a process that works Minister? I don't care as long as I can announce it at today's press conference...

So it might not be wholly Ipsos Mori's fault, and it sounds like they put it right very quickly.
 

misterfish

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Yes. I worked for most of my working life as a 'small systems' programmer/analyst supporting personnel departments in the MOD. I saw all sorts of politically motivated decisiions usually made by those who had no understanding of just what IT involved and how long it took to implement properly.

Jeff (aka misterfish)
 

planetWayne

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Just chipping in on this a little, my Son had one of those come through just over a month or so ago. It appeared to be working back then as initially I thought it was for me as we have the same name. Wasn’t until I was going through the questions that I realised it was for him.

This was on safari on a Mac though, so don’t know if that was why :-/
 
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