the pocket colposcope

Very few women living in developing countries have consistent access to HPV testing, much less the colposcopy exams that follow.

Invasive cervical cancer (ICC) affects the lives of 500,000 women worldwide each year, and results in more than 270,000 deaths. However, cervical cancer is highly preventable through effective screening methods and subsequent treatment of early stage lesions. In many western countries, the standard screening procedure is conducted with a colposcope, which is used to image the cervix under different magnifications and light filters. These prevention services are scarce in many low to middle-income countries due to cost (US$10,000-$20,000), lack of infrastructure, and lack of appropriately trained personnel.

The Pocket Colposcope is a highly portable, cervical cancer screening solution to be used at the community-level setting. The technology was developed by Duke University’s Tissue Optical Spectroscopy Lab and evaluated clinically in Tanzania and Peru. 3rd Stone Design was brought onto the project to envision a highly usable device that could be repeatably cleaned. As with many of our global health projects, this product requires a very low cost of goods while maintaining a state-of-the-art functional profile. We worked with the Duke TOPS Lab and their clinical partners to take the product from concept through engineering prototypes and finally to clinical evaluation units. The final systems were fully functional, light weight, simple to use devices that allow health providers to capture a high grade image of the cervix and conduct diagnosis in a manner heretofore unavailable to them in the settings of use.