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How Conrad Tankou Finds Novel Approach In Cancer Treatment Using Cheap Smartphones

Conrad Tankou is the founder and lead innovator of global innovation and creativity space (GIC space) finds novel approach on cancer treatment using cheap smartphones to improve the survival or quality life of women in deprived communities suffering from breast and cervical cancer.

He replaced expensive scanning devices with a smartphone-based service for early detection which is highly approved by WHO (world health organization) and they confirmed that the health workers are trained on how to use GICMED to enable women living even in the most remote areas to get screened and diagnosed for these cancers at the point of care by medical specialists and increase access treatment.

Conrad Tankou is a Cameroonian physician, he was posted to a poor community in rural Cameroon where he spent most of his time treating patients with malaria, dysentery and other infections.

A woman came to his office complaining of abdominal pains. After examining her, Tankou suspected cervical cancer and asked her to run further tests. His suspicion was confirmed after those tests. His challenge was how to provide urgent care to the patient and the healthcare facilities in his community were in a poor state.

There are many patients with cervical cancer who are not seeking early treatment and only five percent of women at risk of developing breast and cervical cancer are regularly and effectively being tested.

To bring hope to the poor women suffering the burden of breast and cervical cancer in his community, he developed a smartphone-based service for early detection of cervical cancer. He led a team to create a set comprising a mobile app and other portable devices of their own making – a smart speculum, a smartphone-digital microscope, a biopsy device and a telemedicine platform.

He labeled his invention Gicmed, which allows a trained operator to examine a woman’s cervix and breast, and transmit the images and data it has captured to a specialist located anywhere in the world.

Usually, the diagnosis is delivered within 24 hours, where it would have taken several weeks when using multi-million dollar scanners.

Conrad Tankou, the physician has piloted his invention in 23 remote healthcare facilities and has reached more than 10,000 women and the feedback has been encouraging.

His device caught the attention of the international committee and he was named winner of the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2021, obtaining a $50,000 grant. He also got first prize in the African Health Innovative Challenge that helps advance promising health care solutions.

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