Nimmi Ramanujam’s Device Can Help in Earlier Detection of Cervical Cancer and Saving Lives


Women take care of their entire family. There are so many women in this world who, for instance know they have to take some medicine everyday, first thing in the morning. They would still finish everything in their daily routine and then take it at last. There are so many women in India who do not know about their health. They are not aware and not educated about their own bodies. They do not know about health and hygiene.

One of my aunts died of breast cancer. She was detected with cancer during the last stage of her cancer. I was too young to ask questions that time but I question myself now that why she never went to get done her regular checkups. If she would have done it, her cancer would have detected earlier.

Thanks to the new wave started my many educated women to spread awareness among other women, things are changing now. Each one teach one. Women are taking initiatives to spread knowledge with other women. Women are at a constant risk of cervical cancer. Even though sometimes it is detected in its early stage, a huge number of women lose their lives in India due to late detection. Cervical cancer occurs due to HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infection which is sexually transmitted. In most women, this infection subsides on its own while in some women it can lead to onslaught of cervical cancer.

An Indo-American researcher named Nimmi Ramanujan has invented a device which helps detect cervical cancer at an early stage. Nimmi Ramanujam, professor of biomedical engineering and global health at Duke Global Health Institute, is an innovator, teacher and an entrepreneur. She wanted to introduce such a device in India so more women can get benefited. She got inspired by seeing how a tampon works. She thought some device like that would be helpful in detecting cervical cancer in women. Next comes the cost of such a device.

The device is named “Pocket Colposcope”, which detects cervical cancer in a painless form and costs only $500 while the device currently in use costs $15,000. Recently, AIIMS-Delhi successfully conducted trials on the Pocket Colposcope. According to reports, it is as easy to use a colposcope as connecting it to a mobile or laptop.

Talking about her product, Nimmi says ““The tampon inspired me to imagine a device that we can insert through the vaginal canal rather than looking at it from the outside. This dramatically decreases cost without impacting performance. The Pocket colposcope is as good as a traditional colposcope when it comes to image quality, but 100th the weight and more affordable.”

If it is for all women, it should be widely available and pocket friendly. So everyone can afford it. Many women still use a piece of cloth to manage their period flow. A lot of female population uses pads but tampons are still considered a taboo because tampons need to be put into vagina to manage period flow. Many Indian women with limited awareness and access to information might not even know something like a tampon exists.

So now the next question is: how women and healthcare professionals would respond to such a device?


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  • Aash   Mehta
    Lecturer, Mother and Content Writer

    Aash has a Degree in Political Science and International Relations with a minor in Philosophy. She also has a degree in Specialized Education to work with kids with special abilities. Currently, she works as a General Manager. She is a mother to a 4-year-old son whom she prioritizes over other things. She is a guest lecturer in Valdosta State University where she gives classes on Women and Religion.


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