Funded by the European Union
Department of Biotechnology Government of India

PRESCRIP-TEC Nominated for Computable Awards 2021 in the Care Project Category

Hospital boat for cervical cancer prevention in Bangladesh

Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death among women in resource-poor or hard-to-reach settings in the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. These regions account for 85% of global cases of cervical cancer. Here people have little or no access to healthcare. Conventional screening programs are largely ineffective in reducing pressure on hospitals, which then have to deal with patients in advanced stages of the disease.

PRESCRIP-TEC is facilitating the possibility of carrying out human papillomavirus (HPV) self-tests at home combined with artificial intelligence-supported screening for those who are infected with the virus. Healthcare workers are thus helped to make a quick and accurate diagnosis with simple means, making cervical cancer prevention more accessible and cost-effective in developing regions.

Complex Artificial Intelligence (AI) simplified in a mobile app that will save lives

This is the main reason why the jury of the Computable Awards 2021 in the Care Project category nominated PRESCRIP-TEC.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to precancerous cervical lesions in women. These cases can be detected during regular screenings by means of a Pap smear test. This method has long been commonplace in affluent countries, but not in developing regions. It is in these regions where PRESCRIP-TEC will use a quick and relatively simple way of screening – visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid (VIA). After a positive HPV self-test, a health professional will apply acetic acid to the cervix and deviations will cause a colour change that can be seen with the naked eye.

However, diagnosis requires extensive experience and this is what PRESCRIP-TEC has found a solution for. Artificial intelligence is used to support personnel with little experience in the consistent interpretation of visual observations. With an app, a photo of the cervix is ​​quickly assessed and an accurate analysis is given together with medical advice.

Jury verdict

“Innovative approach to pressing problems with clearly quantifiable effects”

Improved health care comes from meeting fundamental health care needs. According to the jury of the Computable Awards 2021 in the Care Project category, research and development into meaningful innovations in the field of better patient outcomes, at an appropriate cost, are essential.

The PRESCRIP-TEC research project is a textbook example of an innovative approach to a pressing problem with clearly quantifiable effects. By deploying an easily accessible and usable mobile app, powerful interpretation support is made available to healthcare professionals who can then quickly make an accurate diagnosis. Its functionality was enabled by developing complex AI algorithms with deep learning using thousands of image artifacts. This is why PRESCRIP-TEC was rightly nominated at the Computable Awards 2021 in the Care Project category.

Read the original article in Dutch here: