How can new technology affect Cervical cancer rates?
Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality among women. Data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that in 2020, 604,000 women were diagnosed with Cervical cancer worldwide, and approximately 342,000 women died from the disease.
Cervical cancer screenings identify individuals at risk of Cervical pre-cancer or living with the condition. In order to help fully realize the global commitment for “a world without cervical cancer” by 2030, the WHO is targeting the following preventive health screening and treatment measures:
- 90% human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage of eligible girls.
- 70% screening coverage with a high-performance test.
- 90% of women with a positive screening test or a Cervical lesion for appropriate management.
Technology, telehealth, and mobile applications with smartphones empower patients and practitioners amid the ongoing world health crisis. The global women’s health app market size was estimated at $2.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $2.7 billion in 2021. By 2028, compounding at an annual growth rate of 19.0% (2021-2028), the global women’s health app market is expected to reach a staggering $8.9 billion.
Currently, apps made specifically for women’s health may track patient factors that impact hormonal balance and reproductive functions, including menstrual cycle, behavior, diet, stress, and more. Recommended apps for practitioners specific to Cervical cancer may track traditional cytology (Pap smear) screenings and results management. From both the patient and healthcare provider’s perspective, technology can present a convenient communications path for addressing both Cervical cancer prevention and treatment.
A ray of hope from developed nations is Cervical cancer instance reduction where cytology screening (Pap smear) is available.
Currently, the outlook is not as bright in 23 countries where Cervical cancer is the most-commonly diagnosed form of cancer while being the leading cause of cancer deaths in 36 countries. Geographic areas that are deeply affected include sub-Saharan Africa, Melanesia, South America, and South-Eastern Asia.
An unfortunate reality is that traditional cytology screening tests, certified laboratories, and specialized healthcare resources found in developed countries are largely unavailable in developing countries.
Also, research from the telecommunications industry indicates that 2.9 billion people currently living in developing countries represent 96% of the world’s offline population.
Additional 2021 data indicates that only 63 out of 100 world citizens use the internet. Global internet adoption and use represents:
- 3% in developed countries.
- 1% in developing countries.
- < 30% in the least developed countries.
Further compounding the issue, electricity is still not available in many developing/under-developed countries.
For women’s health apps to impact Cervical cancer, energy infrastructure must first be available for technology adoption.
Until then, offline healthcare alternatives that are readily accessible can affordably create the foundation for positively impacting Cervical cancer rates in resource-deficient countries.
The screening method most recommended for developing nations is the visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) test. This versatile modality works independently and validates other test types during the screening procedure.
We recently completed the second wave of Cervical cancer clinical trial screenings with its standardized cerVIA™ test kits in India, one of the most impacted countries. Results from the first clinical study revealed that cerVIA™ surpasses the effectiveness of traditional cytology screening based on time.
Cervical cancer is a progressive condition that is preventable. We are committed to growing awareness and helping to provide global access to proper preventative measures and treatments, including the adoption of advanced technology and infrastructure to support mobile apps – apps that can truly help save lives.