Cervical cancer causes more premature deaths than any other malignancy in the developing world. More than 80% of the half-million new cases each year occur in developing nations; 20% of the 250,000 annual deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Cervical cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer related morbidity and mortality among women worldwide, especially in developing countries.

Since 2006, the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), in conjunction with the Zambian Ministry of Health (MOH) have been fielding a “see and treat” cervical cancer prevention program in Zambia called Electronic Cervical Cancer Control, or EC3.

Nurses have been the backbone of providing these services in over 15 clinics currently operating in the program, along with a single tertiary hospital-based referral center.

Seeking to expand their service nationally and internationally, Dimagi collaborated closely with the EC3 program to address these specific needs:

  • Improve the processes to centrally monitor the decisions of independent and often remote clinics
  • Overcome unreliable communication networks in order to provide rapid expert medical advice for test results and treatment decisions
  • Provide a framework for continued education for doctors and nurses alike, regardless of location

The result of our collaboration is a Django-based web application that is both portable for a local clinic setting, but also scalable to become an international referral/consultation system.

Features of the system include:

  • Simple web-based interface for image upload
  • Support for mobile phone based image upload
  • Various levels of access control for doctors, nurses, and other providers to manage photos and diagnoses
  • Encrypted photographs and patient data storage system
  • Offline synchronization framework for poor connectivity usage
  • SMS alerts for critical events