Deploying AI in the fight against cervical cancer

Any new developments in the fields of cancer prevention and treatment are always welcome in any society. And in the interest of women’s health, we’re always pleased to update and report on any developments in this field for our readers.

While great strides are being made in the treatment and prevention of cervical cancer with effective screening and the introduction of a vaccine targeting HPV, the virus that can lead to cervical cancer, it is still the fourth most frequent cancer in females, according to the World Health Organisation, and in 2018, 570,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide.

According to research by the National Cancer Institute, 80% of cervical cancer cases and 90% of the 280,000 deaths occurred in low and middle income countries, where there are fewer qualified colposcopists — the specialists who deal with female screenings — and healthcare professionals have fewer resources.

However, in the fight against this disparity, Israeli start-up MobileODT says it can detect cervical cancer more accurately and inexpensively (which is good for developing countries) than the standard colposcopy method used today, by creating a mobile digital colposcope made up of a smartphone equipped with a light source, a lens for magnification and an artificial intelligence algorithm, and is able to detect cervical cancer based on a single image.

According to website Digital Health Age, this new system's algorithm is able to identify problematic lesions with greater reliability than traditional Pap Cytology testing. When the same images were presented to an expert human colposcopist, the algorithm had a higher level of accuracy than the traditional Pap test in a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 

Ariel Beery, CEO of MobileODT told Digital Health Age: “We are excited by the new AVE algorithm and the promise it holds in fighting cervical cancer. Our team is proud to make available an AVE enabled EVA System to reach more women and save more lives.”

The EVA Colposcope is currently in use in 29 countries, including Kenya and Cambodia, with a pilot test currently underway in India that is screening 250 women daily.

Click to read more about the research from Enterprise Innovation

 

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