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Internet-Based Cervical Cytology Screening Program

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Annual rept. 15 Mar 2004-14 Mar 2005

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Cervical cancer is theoretically completely preventable by effective screening using cervical cytology methods the Pap test. The process of preparing and interpreting Pap tests remains one of the last high-volume manual processes in the clinical laboratory. Recent technological advances in specimen preparation and computerized primary screening make automated approaches to cervical cancer screening possible. In addition, advances in information technology have facilitated the Internet transmission and archival storage of digital images and other clinical information. The combination of automated preparation and screening of cervical cytology specimens, with Internet transmission of selected images and remote interpretation and reporting of results, has not been previously attempted. This project develops a highly automated cervical cytology screening system that includes a software interface capable of transmitting and presenting images to remote reading stations, and the capability of immediate results reporting back to the specimen source. Clinical studies using this system will be performed to test its accuracy and functionality against the current on-site manual screening process. Primary development of the system has been accomplished at Massachusetts General Hospital MGH, and implementation of a pilot study is underway at MGH and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center WRAMC site. Final preparations for the full-scale clinical trial are currently being made at the 121st Army and U.S. Air Force Academy Hospitals. A summary is presented of the work completed to date on the following tasks 1 complete hardware, software, and network development required for testing the internet-based cervical cytology screening system 2 develop morphology and terminology for digital images and perform pilot clinical trial and 3 complete large, prospective clinical trial of the performance of the internet-based system compared to conventional on-site screening.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Computer Systems
  • Telemetry

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