Design Portfolio

Overview

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.

Project Team

  • 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

Advisors

  • Kathleen Sienko Biomedical Engineering PhD
  • Alice Agogino Mechanical Engineering PhD
  • Beatrice Williams Nursing and Midwifery
  • Ivy Sackey Nursing and Midwifery