Indian-American develops pocket-sized device for cervical cancer
Houston: An Indian-American professor and his team have developed a new low-cost laptop that will soon detect cervical cancer without using a painful speculum.
Nimmi Ramanujam and her team of researchers at Duke University in North Carolina say that the “pocket colposcope”, which can be connected to a laptop or a cell phone, could even lead to a criticism of women.
Mrs. Ramanujam developed the “all-in-one device” that looks like a pocket sized buffer. His team asked 15 volunteers to test the new integrated design and more than 80% reported being able to get a good picture.
According to Mrs. Ramanujam, “the cervical cancer mortality rate should be absolutely zero percent, because we have all the tools to see and treat.” But this is not the case.
This is partly because women do not receive the screening or not after a positive test for a colposcopy done at a referral clinic.
“We must do a colposcopy for women, so that we can reduce this complex series of actions at a single point of contact.”
Ramanujam said that the current standard practice for the detection of cervical cancer requires a speculum (a metallic device designed to diffuse the walls of the vagina), a colposcope (an extended telescopic device and a camera designed to enable health professionals See the cervix) and a highly qualified professional to administer the test.
The device, developed with funds from the National Institutes of Health, has a colposcope design that looks like a pocket seal with lights and a camera at one end. It also includes an insertion device by which the colposcope can be inserted to free the entire procedure.
“We have requested additional NIH funds to continue these efforts,” Ramanujam said, noting that the team is working on regulatory approval for the device, which they expect to receive by the end of 2017.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, more than 500 000 new cases occur every year around the world. In the US, doctors diagnose more than 10,000 cases each year.
While more than 4,000 American women die from the disease each year, the mortality rate has declined by more than 50% over the past four decades, mainly because of the emergence of well-organized screening and diagnostic programs.