Detecting cancer with a mobile phone

‘We made a commitment that we were going to build a company that saves as many lives as quickly as possible...’ – CEO Ariel Beery

July 3, 2014 14:05
4 minute read.
Dar es Salaam

Cancer patients share a bed in the female ward of Tanzania’s cancer institute in the capital Dar es Salaam in this photo from November 11, 2009. Many women worldwide who are diagnosed with cervical cancer live in the developing world and a high percentage in Africa. (photo credit: REUTERS)

When Apple founder Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone’s mobile app store with a catchphrase promising that whatever need one might have, “there’s an app for that,” he probably wasn’t thinking about screening for cervical cancer.

Although it’s the leading cause of cancer death among women in low-resource settings, cervical cancer can be easily treated on the spot with freezing gas if it’s caught in the first five years. Often, however, the disease goes undetected. Most screenings rely on the naked eye to look for abnormalities when acetic acid is applied to the cervix.


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