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This Global Health Medical Device is designed for or implemented within resource-limited settings - Browse the devices - Add a device

Health Topic Maternal mortality
Classification Preventative
Scope Prototype
Location Africa

Problem being addressed[edit]

Cervical cancer is one of the most common and deadliest forms of cancer in women in low-resource settings. This is, in part, because the most common Western method of screening for cervical cancer, the Pap smear, is expensive and requires a laboratory setting. The VIA method has been proven as an effective and appropriate method to screen for cervical cancer in low-resource settings as this methods allows a health care provider to take immediate preventative action if cervical cancer is detected.

Detailed description of the solution[edit]

Visualize is a low-fidelity cervical cancer screening trainer that allows a midwife or other healthcare practitioner to learn how to screen for cervical cancer using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), a screening method that eliminates the need for cytology, which is necessary for a Pap smear. The device itself is a simulated vaginal cavity that uses an Arduino microcontroller and an LCD screen for a modular electronic feedback mechanism that guides the user through the VIA procedure. The device can last for at least 600 uses, is portable, and can be manufactured in a low-resource setting. Additionally, it only takes two minutes for a new user to learn how to use the device. Visualize is estimated to cost $32 per unit.

Designed by[edit]

  • Designed by: Design team at the University of Michigan comprised of team members Jeff Chu, Jeff Hong, Julia Kramer, and Maria Young.
  • Manufacturer (if different):
  • Manufacturer location:

When and where it was tested/implemented[edit]

The device was a product of needs assessment performed in Ghana in summer 2013. The prototype was brought to Ghana during a week-long trip in order to gather stakeholder feedback in spring 2014. The device has not been implemented yet, but the design team is seeking out contacts in Accra and Kumasi, Ghana.

Funding Source[edit]

University of Michigan College of Engineering, National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, and Mr. Mike Korybalski


Peer-reviewed publication[edit]

Blumenthal, PD et al. "Training for cervical cancer prevention programs in low-resource settings: focus on visual inspection with acetic acid and cryotherapy."International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 89 (2005): S30-S37.

Lynette, D., Quinn, M., and Sankaranarayanan, R. "Screening for cervical cancer in developing countries." Vaccine 24 (2006): S71-S77.

McLaughlin, S.A., Doezema, D., and Sklar, D.P. "Human simulation in emergency medicine training: a model curriculum." Academic Emergency Medicine 9.11 (2002): 1310-1318.

Sherris, J., Herdman, C., and Elias, C. "Beyond our borders: cervical cancer in the developing world." Western Journal of Medicine 175.4 (2001): 231.

Other internally generated reports[edit]

Externally generated reports[edit]

Boyd, J. (Mar 31 2014). Wright State team wins global health design competition”. Retrieved August 8, 2014 from

Jhpiego. (2013). "Forty Greatest Hits: Revolutionizing Training of Health Providers ". Retrieved September 20, 2013 from

Kyei, Faustina. Personal interview. June 2013.

Nyame, Joana. Personal interview. June 2013.

Ofosu, Anthony. Personal Interview. June 2013.


IP and copyright[edit]

Approval by regulatory bodies or standards boards[edit]