mHealth in Africa Healthcare:MobileODT’s “CERVICAL SELFIE”
Increase in the use mHealth in Africa healthcare continues to bring quality and most cost-effective way of enhancing healthcare in Africa. MobileODT’s CERVICAL SELFIE is a diagnostic tool or traditional colposcope to help in the screening and detection of Cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer remains one of the largest, unaddressed global health challenges across Sub-Saharan Africa. While cervical cancer is easily detectable and treatable in its early stages in a single patient visit without the need for expensive and ongoing treatment, only 6% of women are screened. Compounded with a limited state of healthcare infrastructure and human resources, detection of cervical cancer occurs most frequently during the advanced stages of cancer.
Today 990 million women are screened annually for cervical cancer. In the developed world, women undergo routine cervical cancer screening at their gynaecologist or primary care physician. it is estimated by the World Health Organization that 85% of women worldwide do not have adequate access to such screening leading to 275,000 attributable deaths annually – a tragedy because cervical cancer takes 20 years to develop, and can be treated for less than $28 and in less than 40 minutes if caught in the first 5 years.
What is MobileODT’s CERVICAL SELFIE
“The device integrates a standard smartphone, leveraging its camera, computing power and connectivity to enable health providers to visualize and annotate findings. If a health provider isn’t sure about a case, he or she can consult remotely with a peer, superior or outside expert through the device’s remote consultation feature. Together these features enable the provider to make the decision to treat or not treat in real time, eliminating a patient’s need to return for a follow-up visit, a chronic problem worldwide with drop off rates as high as 80% from diagnosis to treatment”.
Benefits and Challenges
CERVICAL SELFIE is been used in Ethiopia as a tool for improving visual inspection during routine cervical-cancer screening in health facilities and mobile outreaches. In Kenya, MobileODT, MedicMobile, and KMET are working to increase outreach, education, and engagement to increase knowledge and uptake of reproductive health services. A BBC program highlights its usage in Gambia ‘How Cervical ‘Selfies’ are Fighting Cancer in The Gambia’.
It is anticipated that its widespread adoption would to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by expanding expert-level screening capabilities to health providers in any setting.