Queen’s Researcher Using Cell Phones to Screen for Cervical Cancer

| 2012/11/24

Karen Yeates, a Queen’s University researcher in Medicine, has created a cost-effective way to screen for cervical cancer using cell phone technology that is particularly useful in low-resource environments.

“Using cell phones can help lower the barriers to large-scale screening and Pap smears in the developing world,” says Dr. Yeates, co-director of the Queen’s School of Medicine Office of Global Health. “We believe this method has the potential to save the lives of thousands of women residing in the poorest areas of the world.”

Dr. Yeates, co-director of the Queen’s School of Medicine Office of Global Health, believes this practice could save the lives of thousands of women in the developing world by lowering the barriers to large-scale screening and Pap smears.

At the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre for Reproductive Health in Tanzania, Dr. Yeates and Olola Oneko are working on a project to test this method.

During a cervical examination, a photo is taken with a cell phone camera by a trained non-physician health care worker who then sends it to a trained doctor. The doctor or their trained cerviography team will review the photo to look for any abnormalities and then text back a recommended treatment for along with their diagnosis.

Grand Challenges Canada presented Dr. Yeates with a $100,000 Rising Stars in Global Health grant to begin her project. The Government of Canada funded Grand Challenges Canada supports innovative ideas that potentially have a great effect on improving global health conditions. Karen Yeates was one of only 17 recipients for this grant.

This ground breaking work was featured this week in the Inside Africa series of reports on CNN.com: “Fighting cancer with cell phones: Innovation to save lives in Africa”

Watch the Kilimanjaro Cervical Screening Project video at GrandChallenges.ca or on their Youtube account.

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Image: Screencap from Kilimanjaro Cervical Screening Project video on GrandChallenges.ca

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Category: Science & Tech

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