Background and Context: Oral cancer accounts for over 300,000 cases annually with a large number of these originating from low and middle income countries and many of these patients report for treatment at an advanced stage. In a retrospective analysis of patients reporting to our clinics for the past 5 years we found an alarming 90% presenting with advanced Stage III and Stage IV oral cancers. Delay in diagnosis is complex and affected by numerous factors including the provider, the patient and the healthcare delivery model and infrastructure. Our proposal aims to improve early diagnosis of oral cancer by employing mobile technology and frontline primary care providers in high burden countries with limited resources.
Aim: To use mobile technology to enhance the capability of the front line health care providers* (FHPs) to assess risk and detect oral cancers at an early stage in limited resource settings.
Strategy/Tactics:We demonstrate the workflow of the mobile and web-based application to facilitate early diagnosis of oral cancer in resource limited settings. We propose a cluster-randomized design to study the effectiveness of a mobile health (mHealth) approach for early diagnosis of oral cancer.
Programme/Policy Process: Accredited social health activists (ASHA) will be trained to educate and motivate people in seven regions of the State of Karnataka, India to attend cancer awareness and screening camps. FHPs in these primary health centers will screen patients employing the mHealth approach and patients categorized as high risk, will be further assessed by a remote specialist.
Outcomes/What was learned:We anticipate the potential of mobile technology to improve data collection, decision support, communication and remote diagnosis will enable frontline healthcare providers to diagnose a greater proportion of individuals with early stage oral cancer.