Queen's researcher working to save lives in Tanzania
Queen’s University researcher Karen Yeates (Medicine) is using cell phone technology to create a cost-effective method of screening for cervical cancer in low-resource settings.
“We believe this method has the potential to save the lives of thousands of women residing in the poorest areas of the world,” says Dr. Yeates, co-director of the Queen’s School of Medicine Office of Global Health. “Using cell phones can help lower the barriers to large-scale screening and Pap smears in the developing world.”
Dr. Yeates and Olola Oneko at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre for Reproductive Health in Tanzania are implementing a project that will help evaluate the method. While examining a woman’s cervix, a trained non-physician healthcare worker will use a cell phone to take a photo and send it to a trained doctor. The doctor or his/her trained cerviography team members will examine the photo for any abnormalities and text back a diagnosis and recommended treatment.
Dr. Yeates recently received a $100,000 Rising Stars in Global Health grant from Grand Challenges Canada to implement her project. Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada and supports innovative ideas that can have a major impact on global health conditions. Dr. Yeates was one of 17 Canadians selected for the grant