graphic illustration of a doctor pointing at a holographic image on the brain

PRESTIGE-AF at the Great Exhibition Road Festival 2024

On 15-16 June, the PRESTIGE-AF team from Imperial College London exhibited the PRESTIGE-AF Escape Room as part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival (GERF) 2024, a two-day extravaganza of all things science and art taking place in South Kensington, London.

The annual festival welcomed over 50,000 people across the weekend to enjoy hands-on workshops, fascinating talks, performances and installations from iconic museums, research and culture organisations, including Imperial College London, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A).

Located in the Science Museum, the PRESTIGE-AF team ran 10 escape room sessions, allowing around 100 people to try their hand at ‘escaping the clinic’ in the allocated time. The activity calls on participants to work as a team, with a strong focus on the importance of communication to solve various puzzles, crack codes and uncover hidden messages in order to find out the information required to enrol a participant onto the PRESTIGE-AF clinical trial.

This iteration of the escape room included new and improved puzzles and clues, including the opportunity to engage with hundreds more visitors who could not take part in the session but were visiting the Festival.

These visitors were tasked with putting themselves in the shoes of a clinician having to make the decision of whether to prescribe anticoagulants to intracerebral haemorrhage patients with atrial fibrillation, balancing the risks of both conditions.

Over 320 people ended up casting their votes, with the results quite evenly split: 159 voted to prescribe, and 169 voted not to prescribe. However, a higher proportion of those who voted to prescribe were uncertain about their decision.

“It’s funny – it makes you feel stressed to even put a token in, but doctors have to make the real choice,” remarked one visitor.

Overall, these conversations were an opportunity to deeply engage with members of the public with the question that PRESTIGE-AF is trying to answer and showcase the uncertainty involved in the decision-making process.

It was fantastic to engage with so many people at the Festival, and we thank everyone who took the time out of their day to visit us.