A Low cost pocket colposcope has been developed by Dr Nimmi Ramanujam and colleagues at Duke University which is perhaps future of cervical cancer screening by colposcopy. New pocket colposcope shall make the process painless and also cost just Rs 500 , a fraction of what a normal colposcope normally costs. Dr Neerja Bhatla and her team at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences have successfully completed trials for this low cost device. Tamil Nadu government may introduce it in some primary care centres in the state after the results of trial.
In India cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women and also the second most common cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age.Pap smear-based cervical cancer screening programs have been successful in the developed world to reduce the burden of cervical cancer. But it is not a feasible option in low-resource settings due to paucity of trained cyto-pathologists, difficulties in following up of screen positive women and poor healthcare infrastructure.
In order to address these challenges, many devices have been developed and are being tested widely to increase specificity, to acquire digital images of the cervix with or without magnification which can assist and complement subjective visual interpretation and potentially improve the performance of VIA.
The latest prototype of the POCkeT colposcope allows a more women friendly alternative to the standard speculum, which would enable comfortable, speculum-free cervical screening.
Cortesy Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc
The success of a cervical cancer screening program depends mainly on the high participation rates. The new POCkeT colposcope not only would facilitate in increasing the attendance of the screening program but will also improve the access to cervical cancer screening program by the following:
- Task shifting to the community health workers (CHWs)
- Empowering the health care provider in the community to carry out screening using the device which can capture the images of the cervix and export it to a remote specialist
- Speculum-free cervical screening
The Pocket Colposcope is a highly portable, cervical cancer screening solution to be used at the community-level setting.They are light weight, simple to use devices that allow health providers to capture a high grade image of the cervix and conduct diagnosis in a manner heretofore unavailable to them in the settings of use.
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