Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women living in less developed regions, but in Kenya it is the most common cause of death from cancer. Although this cancer is easily preventable, most of the eligible women have never been screened. (The risk of cervical cancer is 6 to 20 times higher for HIV-infected women.)
New methods for cancer screening are desperately required to improve this situation in Kenya. The Heidelberg University Hospital initiated the Emerging Technologies in Cervical Cancer Screening (ETiCCS) project, with the aim to implement an innovative healthcare screening approach in fragile infrastructures.
The initial focus of ETiCCS is a one-year cervical cancer study involving 800 women, performed by the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. This pilot study was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Subsequently it is planned to offer a self-sampling test in a larger, more rural area, with the ultimate goal being to screen eligible women across the entire country.
Saving lives through improved cancer screening
Given the high risk of data loss and duplication of the current paper-based screening process, the Heidelberg University Hospital reached out to SAP to digitize cervical cancer screening in fragile infrastructures like Kenya. The basis for the first prototype were several design thinking workshops. During those workshops, the respective experts from the University Hospital Heidelberg and SAP uncovered the underlying challenges of cancer screening in emerging countries today. The team’s expertise included design, in-memory computing, healthcare product and solution management, corporate social responsibility, and custom development.
SAP developed and implemented a mobile app connecting to an in-memory cloud platform to accelerate study recruitment and provision of cancer test results. It allows local data entry and easy access to patient data while test results can be remotely monitored by the Heidelberg University Hospital. To ensure that the solution works in an environment with unstable Internet connectivity, the local part of the touchpad solution runs in an offline mode and can be synchronized to the cloud via an Internet USB stick twice a day.
Want to know more?
Read the full story of the ETiCCS project here.