Kumasi, Accra, Ghana
Visualize is a low-fidelity cervical cancer screening trainer that allows a midwife or other healthcare practitioner to learn how to screen for cervical cancer using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), a screening method that eliminates the need for cytology, which is necessary for a Pap smear. The device itself is a simulated vaginal cavity that uses an Arduino microcontroller and an LCD screen for a modular electronic feedback mechanism that guides the user through the VIA procedure.
Every year, 275,000 women die from cervical cancer. Eighty percent of these cases occur in low and lower-middle income countries. Screening for cervical cancer significantly reduces this mortality rate, given that most cervical cancer and pre-cancer cases caught early are treatable. Unfortunately, many low and lower-middle income countries lack the infrastructure for traditional screening. In Ghana, where cervical cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related death for women, less than 5% of women have ever been screened. Visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid (VIA) is a low-cost and effective method to screen for cervical cancer but is not currently used widely, due to a lack of training and awareness of the method. VIA is currently the most accessible “see-and-treat” approach to screening and has been shown to be viable in low and lower-middle income settings. With proper training and follow-up, VIA can avert 68% of cervical cancer deaths. We estimate that VIA and subsequent treatment can save 150,000 lives in low and lower-middle income countries.
- Julia Kramer, Co-Founder ME
- Maria Young, Co-Founder BME
- Jeff Chu ME
- Jeff Hong ME
- Betsy McCormick MBA
- Abhimanyu Ray ME
- Karan Patel ME
- Gabby Holyszko ME
Sponsors & Supporters
- Kathleen Sienko Biomedical Engineering PhD
- Alice Agogino Mechanical Engineering PhD
- Beatrice Williams Nursing and Midwifery
- Ivy Sackey Nursing and Midwifery