Posts

ETiCCS meets WAKA at IPVC 2017

On March 2nd 2017 WAKA is organising a satellite symposium “WAKA HPV NETWORK: HPV IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA” at the IPVC 2017 where ETiCCS and SAP will present their IT-based approach to cervical cancer screening in resource-limited regions. The meeting will take place in Meeting Room 1.43 at 3:00 – 4:30 pm.

Training of health care workers in self sampling in Ethiopia

On February 15th 2017 twelve midwives were trained in genital self sampling using the Evalyn Brush® at Gondar University Hospital  as preparation of community wide HPV-screening project. Instructions for women to take part in the screening project are currently being prepared in Amharic.

Enhancing cancer management through IT // by Dr. Bitange Ndemo, former Permanent Secretary Ministry of ICT // Business Daily Africa

Summary

  • At least 80 per cent of women will contract HPV in their lifetime.
  • 85 per cent who develop cancer die in developing countries.
  • Taxing broadband and IT accessories such as smart phones is increasingly becoming counterproductive.
  • There is mounting evidence that IT improves the lives of people and thereby would lead to the achievement of the SDGs.

Cervical cancer is the number one cause of death among Kenyan women. According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 2016 Factsheet titled, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer, most cervical cancers are caused by HPV.

At least 80 per cent of women will contract HPV in their lifetime. Of those who develop cancer, 85 per cent will die in developing countries. Unlike advanced countries that have well-established population-wide cervical cancer early detection programmes, developing countries lack the necessary infrastructure due to limited resources.
However, information technology (IT), has now brought new hope to significantly accelerate and simplify the screening approaches in less affluent and more remote parts of the world.

Collaboration between SAP’s Design and Co-Innovation Centre, Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, developed a digitised screening solution as part of the Emerging Technologies in Cervical Cancer Screening (ETiCCS) project in Eldoret.

It is a process that begins at a local clinic, followed by data being codified before it is uploaded into the cloud. The project started with a series of ‘Design Thinking’ workshops at the AppHaus Heidelberg (Germany) to optimize the cumbersome manual and paper-based process. A mobile solution connected to the cloud that also runs offline if no Internet is available, was the natural outcome of these workshops.

It connects the silos in the end-to-end screening process – from study recruitment, to data collection, to examination to remote data access to track the study’s progress from Kenya and Germany.

This was one of a kind solution, which African Media Agency reported early this month as having won an award in 2016 for improving lives according to user-centred design principles.

The process would be better if the internet was accessible and affordable in rural Kenya. It is no longer a secret that improving the lives of African people requires improved universal broadband infrastructure that is affordable, flexible policy and regulatory environment.

Taxing broadband and IT accessories such as smart phones is increasingly becoming counterproductive when new technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data analytics are promising to comprehensively assist developing countries to leapfrog decades of dependence and backwardness.

It is possible that in the coming days the motivation from ETiCCS and collaboration with other cancer studies, we can build predictive models that would provide an even more robust solution to humanity.

There is need to break other national silos in research to bring together findings from other studies.

For example, a recent study by researchers from Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri), Britain’s Queen Mary University and Oxford University came up with striking conclusions linking the occurrence of cancer (including cervical cancer) in Nairobi to the tribal origin of afflicted people.

With such knowledge, it is therefore possible to develop some predictive model to target those whose infections are most likely to lead to cancer and provide targeted awareness programmes. More importantly, the studies could point to new unexplored areas that could lead to an eventual cure for cancer.

The Nairobi study could very well suggest that environment if not genetics plays in some way into the causes of cancer.

If new research points elsewhere then WHO’s suggestion of risk factors for HPV persistence and development of cervical cancer may put into question. These risk factors include early first sexual intercourse, multiple sexual partners, tobacco use and immunity suppression.

There is mounting evidence that IT improves the lives of people and thereby would lead to the achievement of the SDGs.

Developing countries like Kenya, therefore, must strive towards universal connectivity that enables access to ICTs. IT as demonstrated in the ETiCCS case has the power of doing that which we couldn’t do before. There is a greater need now than ever before to collaborate, leverage IT, build capacity and change the lives of people.

The writer is an associate professor at the University of Nairobi’s School of Business

First SAP mobile Cloud cervical cancer machine unveiled in Kenya // Dr. Gilbert Saggia, SAP East Africa Managing Director

BizNis Africa // February 2nd, 2017


SAP’s Design and Co-Innovation Center together with Heidelberg University Hospital has optimized a cervical cancer screening test that combines applied medical research with the power of innovative SAP cloud technology to improve quality of life amongst women in Africa.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of death for women worldwide and ranks number on in Kenya. Although it is easily preventable, most eligible women have never been screened and have no access to healthcare resources. The cervical cancer screening test was piloted during a one-year study, and was tested on a total of 800 women at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya.At the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015, 193 world leaders gathered to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals aimed at protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030. Projects like ETiCCS proof SAP’s mission how technology can effectively transform the healthcare industry and help medical professionals to address cancer diagnosis and treatment in fragile infrastructures which directly supports the UN’s top 3 goal of Good Health & Well-Being.“This is a special award for SAP as it reinforces our vision and commitment to help the world run better and improve people’s lives, while supporting the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations (UN). The screening technology is the first to combine applied medical research with the power of cutting edge cloud technology and user-centered 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,” comments Dr Gilbert Saggia, SAP East Africa Managing Director.The screening in Kenya is ongoing and the plan is to include countrywide self-sampling and IoT scenarios (lab equipment integration), pattern recognition, deep learning, remote diagnostics support and validation. “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-centered design and cloud technology to improve cancer screening and further uncover the underlying challenges of cancer screening in emerging countries,” adds Dr. Saggia.

With the help of technology such as SAP HANA Cloud Platform the user centered solution runs on a single platform across multiple roles which enables seamless communication between all parties, even in very remote areas and environments with unstable Internet connectivity. Thanks to role-specific data entry the solution is easy to use and access to patient data and test results are immediately available to the local hospital and to Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany.

Through the use of the technology, medical staff have now reduced paperwork meaning no duplication or opportunities for human error to affect test results. The medical records are safely stored in the cloud providing instant access to results. This enables labs to accelerate the screening process and empower medical staff through improved quality control embedded in the screening process. Real-time access to data and reporting, fully compliant with data privacy and security requirements, means labs can make informed diagnoses regardless of location or region.

“This project is another milestone in SAP`s attempt to address the challenge of adequately screening for and treating cancer. It is not only about building great software to help the world run better, but also creating a positive impact in society and improving people’s lives,” adds Dr Saggia.

The project stands to transform healthcare screening services by combining user-centered design with on-site user research that enables healthcare professionals to uncover critical patient insights and adapt the solution to other screening processes and field research.

ETiCCS’ vision is to support the fight against cancer in fragile infrastructures. The solution sets new standards for bringing applied medical research to Africa, powered by the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. SAP Design projects such as these undoubtedly positions SAP in the lead with regards to design and innovation to influence the medical community. With this solution, hundreds of women in Kenya now have access to screening for cervical cancer during the first pilot phase.

“Through the ETiCCS program, 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,” Prof Magnus von Knebel Doeberitz, Department of Applied Tumor Biology, Institute of Pathology, Heidelberg University Hospital Medical Director.

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.

Design world recognizes cervical cancer project by Heidelberg University Hospital

Logo Mobile Excellence Awards

Our joint cervical cancer project with SAP has been honored with several awards in 2016. Next to receiving the first prize of the DMI 2016 Design Value Award, the bronze medal of the Spark Design Awards, and the HANA Innovation Award Honorable Mention Trophy, ETiCCS has also reached the finals in the humanitarian category at the Mobile Excellence Awards on 26-Jan-2017.For more information on our design-led innovation approach to digitize the screening process for cervical cancer in Eldoret, Kenya, click here:

» Saving Lives through Cancer Screening

Training in portable colposcopy

Training in portable colposcopy at Gondar University

Portable colposcopes such as the Gynocular™, developed for remote settings, allow the visualization of the cervix with a high magnification in contrast to examination with the naked eye as done by standard VIA. The Gynocular™ also offers digital documentation of the findings and sharing of the image with remotely situated experts. The device is thus ideal for training, consultation and quality control. The method is suitable for screening used by nurses in peripheral clinics as confirmed several studies.

Class room training

 

Introduction into the Gynoccular® device

facilitators Hermann Bussmann,Solomon Behre, Alexander Luyten and Katahauni Tagveri

6 gynecologists and 6 nurse/midwives already experienced in VIA participated in this 5-day course that was facilitated by Dr(s) Alexander Luyten from Wolfsburg Women’s hospital and Katahauni Tagveri from Inselspital Bern. The training included both classroom and practical sessions and a post-training skills evaluation.

As a next step a field study is planned to appraise the value of nurse-led portable colposcopy for peripheral settings.

Preventing Cervical Cancer In Kenya

forbes.com (USA) | 19.01.2016

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract, with 80 percent of women infected with at least one type in their lifetime, according to Christine Donoto, Senior Writer at SAP. There are 100 types of the virus, with 13 of those being cancer causing. According to the WHO, HPV is related to nearly all cases of cervical cancer worldwide. Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women, with 85 percent of deaths occur in developing regions. However, early detection and treatment by using respective tests can prevent up to 80 percent of cases. The SAP Design & Co-Innovation Center team joined the Emerging Technologies in Cervical Cancer Screening (ETiCCS) project, giving ten tablet PCs to help out. ETiCCS plans to bring the solution closer to patients by eliminating the need for women to travel long hours to a health center, provide self-sampling kits in larger, more rural areas with an ultimate goal to screen eligible women across the entire country.
Click here for forbes.com (USA) >>

German academics tackle cervical cancer in africa with SAP HANA

diginomica.com (UK) | 20.11.2015

In the developed world, regular screening, early detection and rapid treatment have led to positive long-term outcomes for women diagnosed with cervical cancer. In the developing world, the disease is still a killer. In Western Europe or Australia/New Zealand, for example, for every 100,000 women diagnosed with the disease, fewer than two will die from it, according to figures from the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO). In East Africa, it is closer to 30 (27.6). There, few women will ever be screened. For many of those diagnosed, treatment comes too late. Dr. von Knebel-Doeberitz’s Emerging Technologies in Cervical Cancer Screening (ETiCCS) project is currently a one-year study involving 800 women, delivered by the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Much of the technology involved was provided for free by SAP and Intel. Roche, meanwhile, has provided the test kits. Dr. von Knebel-Doeberitz and his team worked with staff at the Design & Co-Innovation Center team at SAP’s AppHaus Heidelberg center, to design a mobile app that would work for the project, based on the company’s HANA Cloud Platform. This is designed to accelerate study recruitment and provision of cancer test results. SAP has produced a video showing the app at work. All patient data entered locally, along with test results, can be monitored remotely by staff at the Heidelberg University Hospital and, to ensure that the solution works in areas with patchy Internet connectivity, the local part of the tablet-based app can run in offline mode and be synchronized to the cloud via an Internet ‘dongle’ several times a day.
Click here for diginomica.com (UK) >>

Press release, 11/09/2015: Cancer prevention in Kenya – New screening approach enables women to be tested at home

As cervical cancer is the number one cause of death from cancer in Kenya, new methods for cancer screening are desperately required. Therefore the Heidelberg University Hospital initiated the Emerging Technologies in Cervical Cancer Screening (ETiCCS) project with the aim to implement an innovative healthcare screening approach in fragile infrastructures. The initial focus of ETiCCS is a one-year cervical cancer study with 800 women performed by the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. This pilot study was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Subsequently it is planned to offer a self-sampling test in a larger, more rural area with the ultimate goal to screen eligible women across the entire country.

Given the high risk of data loss and duplication of the current paper-based screening process, the Heidelberg University Hospital reached out to SAP to digitize cervical cancer screening in fragile infrastructures like Kenya.

>> Read the full press release (in German language) <<<