SAP’s Design and Co-Innovation Center together with the Heidelberg University Hospital have developed a digitised cervical cancer screening test, which runs on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, to accelerate cervical cancer screening in under-resourced settings.

The test, called the Emerging Technologies in Cervical Cancer Screening (ETiCCS), aims to support the fight against cervical cancer in underprivileged areas of the world such as Kenya where cervical cancer is the number one most common cause of cancer death in women.

The solution, which was piloted during a one-year study with 800 women at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya, uses a specific method to detect an HPV infection via specific biomarkers.

“Through the ETiCCS programme, we were able to complement applied medical research around biomarkers with the power of cutting edge cloud technology to bring co-innovation to Africa in a way which really helps to improve people’s lives,” said Medical Director at the Department of Applied Tumor Biology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Prof Magnus von Knebel Doeberitz.

According to SAP, the app mediates the high risk of data loss and duplication associated with paper-based screening processes; accelerates the recruitment; examination; and provision of cancer test results. Local clinic workers can directly input data and easily view patient information while test results can be monitored remotely in Germany.

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.

The next step for ETiCCS is to bring the solution closer to patients by eliminating the need for women to travel long hours to a health centre. The project plans to offer a self-sampling test in larger, more rural areas with an ultimate goal to screen eligible women across the entire country.

The project also envisions the adoption of smartphones to further simplify the process and provide full mobility.

Currently all personal records are kept in Kenya – only pseudonyms data is uploaded through the SAP mobile solution. The mobile solution creates a number based on the pseudonyms data and links to the patient test results.

However, the mapping between the generated number and patient is done on site by a medical professional. The app will be made available through SAP to other interested countries in Africa as a custom development solution.

“The screening technology is the first to combine applied medical research with the power of cutting edge cloud technology and user-centred design principles for cervical cancer. SAP is very excited about this achievement as we continue to uncover the underlying challenges of cancer screening in Africa and other emerging countries,” said Managing Director at SAP East Africa, Dr Gilbert Saggia.

“SAP is looking for additional strategic partners with a passion for improving people’s lives and strengthening Africa’s healthcare systems. The aim for SAP East Africa is to collaborate towards a global 2030 vision for user-centred design and cloud technology to improve cancer screening and further uncover the underlying challenges of cancer screening in emerging countries,” concluded Dr Saggia.

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