Towards a field-compatible optical spectroscopic device for cervical cancer screening in resource-limited settings: effects of calibration and pressure.


Quantitative optical spectroscopy has the potential to provide an effective low cost, and portable solution for cervical pre-cancer screening in resource-limited communities. However, clinical studies to validate the use of this technology in resource-limited settings require low power consumption and good quality control that is minimally influenced by the operator or variable environmental conditions in the field. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of two sources of potential error: calibration and pressure on the extraction of absorption and scattering properties of normal cervical tissues in a resource-limited setting in Leogane, Haiti. Our results show that self-calibrated measurements improved scattering measurements through real-time correction of system drift, in addition to minimizing the time required for post-calibration. Variations in pressure (tested without the potential confounding effects of calibration error) caused local changes in vasculature and scatterer density that significantly impacted the tissue absorption and scattering properties Future spectroscopic systems intended for clinical use, particularly where operator training is not viable and environmental conditions unpredictable, should incorporate a real-time self-calibration channel and collect diffuse reflectance spectra at a consistent pressure to maximize data integrity.






David Keith Walmer

Adjunct Professor of Global Health

My areas of interest include
women's health in Haiti
- cervical cancer prevention
- maternal child health
- hypertension 


Preventing cervical cancer in Haiti 
Goal: Develop culturally acceptable and cost effective strategies to prevent cervical cancer
Current strategy:
- primary screen: HPV testing
- treatment thermal ablation of the cervical transformation zone in HPV+ women
Under investigation
- strategies to remove inflammatory cells from cervical cytology
- strategies to speed up and improve AI interpretation of cervical cytology
- strategies to employ drones to deliver test kits and patient samples to deliver health care in gang controlled areas

Improving maternal child health in rural Haiti
- establishing 24/7 access to L&D services in a remote mountain community

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