January 3, 2019
Low Cost Pocket Colposcope Could Be Future of Cervical Cancer Screening
Developed by Duke university, the device has now been successfully tested at All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Since the 19th century when J Marion Sims the father of gynaecology perfected the speculum on slave women who had been bought solely for the purpose of procreation, cervical cancer screening has been a painful process. With the speculum prying open the vagina for a glimpse of the cervix – the mouth of the uterus – it is a torturous but essential procedure.
All that may soon change, with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences having successfully completed trials for a low cost device – a pocket colposcope – that makes the process painless and also costs a fraction of what a normal colposcope- the device used for cervical cancer screening – currently costs. The pocket colposcope that has been developed by Dr Nimmi Ramanujam’s team at Duke University and the trial conducted by Dr Neerja Bhatla’s team at AIIMS, costs just $500. A colposcope costs $15000.
India has a population of 436.76 million women aged 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Every year 122844 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 67477 die from the disease. This makes the pocket colposcope an ideal device for use in a primary care setting and in resource sensitive setups like in India.