Early detection significantly improves the survival rates for cervical cancer patients. Cervical cancer used to be one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the US, but mortality rates have declined significantly in the last 40 years due in part to better compliance with regular cervical cancer screening. Regular pap smear testing flags women who should be further examined with a colposcope to identify abnormal tissue in the cervix which will then be biopsied. Unfortunately, the WHO estimates that 85% of women reside in developing countries where this screening is not readily available.
MobileODT is inspired by the insight that smartphones are more readily available than physicians, and has leveraged this into a new cervical cancer screening product. Their cervical cancer screening system allows any smartphone to be turned into a colposcope, making this part of the screening process readily available for most clinics. The hardware is equipped with a light source and magnifying lens that gives a phone’s camera lens excellent visualization of any abnormalities in the cervical tissue. Once visualized, the nurse can make a diagnosis or capture photos of the patient’s cervix and transmit them securely to a physician for further analysis. MobileODT’s smartphone application supports annotation of these images and transmission of final recommendations by the remote physicians.
The device is very accessible for clinics in developing countries at around 10% of the cost of traditional colposcopes, which can run to $2000 a piece. It is CE-marked and MobileODT is starting to make the device available in some markets.
Ariel Beery from MobileODT at Health 2.0 presenting the technology:
Sources: MobileODT, CDC, Health 2.0