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Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women living in less developed regions but in Kenya it is the most common cause of death from cancer.Although this cancer is easily preventable, most of the eligible women have never been screened. (With the risk of cervical cancer being 6 to 20 times higher for HIV-infected women,)

Cervical Cancer in Kenya

To improve this situation in Kenya, new methods for cancer screening are desperately required. 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 (-> see Nov9 press release of Heidelberg University Hospital)

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.

Why SAP?

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.

The solution

The basis for the first prototype were several design thinking workshops with the Design & Co-Innovation Center team in the SAP AppHaus Heidelberg. During those workshops, the respective experts from the University Hospital Heidelberg, together with SAP employees focused on uncovering the underlying challenges of cancer screening in emerging countries today. The SAP team consisted of designers, experts from the HANA Cloud Platform department, Healthcare product and solution management, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Custom Development.

SAP developed and implemented a mobile app connecting to SAP HANA Cloud Platform accelerating study recruitment and provision of cancer test results. It allows local data entry and easy access to patient data while test results can be remotely monitored by the Heidelberg University Hospital. 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.