BIOE Seminar: Accelerating the Impact of Tech & Innovation for Global Cervical Cancer Prevention
Friday, October 7, 2022
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
A. James Clark Hall, Room 2121
Robert W. Carr Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Accelerating the Impact of Technology and Innovation for Global Cervical Cancer Prevention
This event will be offered in a hybrid format. Login details will be sent to current BIOE faculty, affiliates, students, postdocs, and those who have previously asked to subscribe to our seminars listserv. If you do not currently receive our weekly seminars emails but you wish to attend this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The focus of our research efforts is to improve the prevention and treatment of cancer, with an emphasis on women’s cancers, which is disproportionately prevalent in low- and middle-income countries. Our global initiative strives to accelerate the impact of technology and innovation to address global health inequities, with cervical cancer prevention serving as an exemplar. Specifically, we have created an imaging device called the Pocket colposcope, which transforms the complex, costly and cumbersome clinical colposcope (for cervical cancer diagnosis) used in specialized settings to a simple, inexpensive, and hand-held device, which can be deployed in a local clinic. A companion deep learning algorithm that our team has developed has the capacity to assist primary care providers, particularly, midwives and nurses, when there is limited access to specialists. We are currently collaborating with partners in Peru to integrate our technologies into community-based models of care delivery and have been able to provide cervical cancer screening to over 2000 patients to date, with timely diagnosis and treatment/referral. Our technology initiative ensures that there is continuum of care throughout the patient journey.
Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam is the Robert W. Carr Professor of Engineering and Professor of Cancer Pharmacology and Global Health at Duke University and co-program leader of the Radiation Oncology and Imaging Program (ROIP) at the Duke Cancer Institute. Dr. Ramanujam’s research focuses on breast and cervical cancer. Her goals are to design innovations that enable complex referral services often reserved for hospitals to be accessible at the community/primary care level, develop technologies to see and treat women with early stage disease in one visit and to develop tools that will make cancer treatment more effective and efficient. She founded the Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies (GWHT) in 2013 where she empowers trainees to create impactful solutions to improve the lives of women and girls globally. This center, since inception, has catalyzed new research activities and the development and commercialization of several technologies that advance prevention and treatment of cervical and breast cancer. She has created two companies Zenalux and Calla Health to commercialize her technologies.