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At Your Cervix

At Your Cervix

by acarreon c0c0.wander frankiep pschicchi zeeroday | updated August 22, 2018

Application for cervical cancer prevention through menstrual tracking

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Cervical Cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the world. However, is successfully treatable when caught early. We want to help women not only recognize their early symptoms but also gain agency for their own health by becoming educated on what their own normal menstrual cycle means. Early symptoms of cervical cancer are often times heightened symptoms of a menstrual cycle, most of which are already being logged by women in their period tracking apps. We believe that period tracking apps have an untapped potential. Through a collaboration with a menstrual tracking mobile app we would like to add features that would allow for cervical cancer detection and education of menstrual health through vocabulary each user can understand.

At Your Cervix competed in the Open 17 Challenge as Team Public Cervix Announcement. Through this 5-week training session we went through problem definition and breaking down each step before creating a solution. In our final pitch we were selected to join the SDG summer school.

You can also find more information at 

 

July 6, 2018 at 10:04 AM
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What we aim to accomplish within the next week of the SDG Summer School

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July 6, 2018 at 10:15 AM
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Canvas for the week of 09-07-18

July 6, 2018 at 10:18 AM
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Patients:

1. Through doctors and friends

2. already on the market

3. Use of the app

4. App reminders and updates to keep users

5. Network/gain connection to clinics

6. Educate those around them with the information provided on the app

 

Maya:

1. Email

2. Response Skype meeting (prototype)

3.Share user data and their algorithm

4. Network/BHBM/access to more MDs reaching out to clinics

5. Eventually they take over

July 11, 2018 at 10:58 AM
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Do you have contact with a person in Maya?

Are you creating an API?

July 11, 2018 at 11:02 AM
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July 11, 2018 at 11:06 AM
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Question
Which of these should be our team logo?
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July 12, 2018 at 4:11 AM
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Progress on the literature review this week

July 13, 2018 at 3:43 AM
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July 14, 2018 at 7:45 PM
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Updates:

While waiting for apps and research teams to respond, we will be creating a symptomatic dictionary in order to use our time to make an educational resource we can share with the public.

Feedback:

Will women be open to the idea of sharing such detailed, personal information?

July 16, 2018 at 4:19 AM
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July 16, 2018 at 9:07 AM
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Meeting Highlights:

Potential invitation to Cervical Cancer Convention in Geneva on 17/7-18/7

What is the goal for the project by the end of the program?

Make a list of dreams for the project

Review team one-page

July 16, 2018 at 10:31 AM
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July 17, 2018 at 10:54 AM
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July 17, 2018 at 10:54 AM
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In addition to the emails of apps we would like to reach out to, we have also compiled contact information for researchers who published studies from our Literature Review.

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July 19, 2018 at 4:03 AM
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Description of project that includes goals for China, such as asking high schoolers what platform they think the symptom dictionary should be published on.

July 19, 2018 at 4:12 AM
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Dr. Fiona Walter responded to our email with articles interviewing women with cervical cancer to gather information on their symptoms.

July 19, 2018 at 4:23 AM
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July 25, 2018 at 4:24 AM
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Questions for a cervical cancer researcher based in India and the notes from the meeting

July 26, 2018 at 11:33 AM
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Hi Team At Your Cervix,

These are a mouthful! Here are my quick resposne without review of the work done. Off the top of my head!

  1. Your study included ages 35-56, do you think that this would be applicable to a younger age group?  What made this the age range of your study?

Do I think the findings would be applicable to a younger age group? I do not have reasons, based on our findings to think otherwise. However, we do not have evidence from our study that the findings do apply to younger women. A study in London on cervical cancer among younger women did suggest there could be lower self-perceive risk among younger women. This may imply attributing symptoms of cervical cancer to other more mundane causes.

We did not set the age range at 35 – 56 years. Those were the women that presented during the study period. We see some younger women with cervical cancer, most of whom are HIV infected.

  1. Would you agree that most of the women didn’t seek out help or take their symptoms seriously because of a general lack of understanding and education in regards to health?

I would not extrapolate our findings beyond the evidence we have adduced. We found misattribution of symptoms to other more common illnesses, not taking symptoms seriously, being busy with gardening, and healthcare professionals diagnosing symptoms as something else and convincing the patients to take treatment for the same as major issues of concern.

You could refer to another paper on “understanding of cervical cancer …” to provide a more general state of understanding of cervical cancer in the region we conducted our study.

Have there been any steps in recent times to create campaigns or education systems using the infrastructure put in place by the study?

Several interventions aimed increasing awareness about symptoms and need for HPV vaccinations are ongoing – not by our research team, but the government of Uganda and other development agencies.

Put simply, were any efforts made after to improve the situation after the conclusion of the study?

Our current project with Fiona is a direct follow up on the findings on our study sets you referred to.

We are developing a cancer awareness measurement tool – validated and appropriate for the culture of the people. We also provide information on risk factors and symptoms for breast and cervical cancer after data collection to every participant.

  1. Other than the repeated translations and the recorded answers, how else did you and your team work with cultural competency to allow women to feel comfortable and understood?

This is included in the published work. No much more than that.

What importance was given to vocabulary usage/language?

The symptoms awareness study followed on the community based FGDs. During the FGDs, vocabulary and usage of words were explored. How the people from the study community understand cervical cancer – the local words for the disease etc were established beforehand. These were the words used during the hospital-based in-depth interviews to ensure at least in part, that interview and interviewee were talking about the same thing.

  1. To your knowledge, has mobile technology been used in campaigns to prompt healthcare seeking in Uganda?   

Yes and yes! eHealth and mHealth including SMS reminder on mobile phones have been published in several studies from Uganda.

  1. Were there any questions that the women who were interviewed asked about the questions or cervical cancer in general? Do you have these recorded anywhere that we could access?

Yes, several. We did not publish these separately. You could arrive at these through reviewing what people belief about cervical cancer in the study region. Cf: “Understanding cervical cancer …” and “Perceptions and beliefs about surgery for cervical cancer . . “

  1. In regards to the presentation of symptoms in cancer, we were wondering if one of the largest limitations also has to do with patients being unable to identify symptoms, particularly when they blend in with regular abnormalities of every day life. Not sure, if you have an answer, but figured we'd ask as your past research overlaps with the issue. 

Yes; this is a large component in our study “Symptomatic presentation  . . .” We presented why the women thought their symptoms were due to what they attributed the symptoms to.

 

I hope these responses help you get closure to your goal.

I have liked the catch phrase: At Your Cervix! Why “At Your Cervix” and not “At the Cervix”?

 

Regards,

 

Amos

July 26, 2018 at 11:39 AM
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July 27, 2018 at 6:15 AM
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July 27, 2018 at 6:17 AM
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Phone call with menstrual tracking app in Argentina

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July 31, 2018 at 6:59 AM
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Problem:

An opensource period tracking app in Argentina, Lunar, is willing to collaborate with us and use our algorithm. However, they are a new app and our algorithm is dependent on symptom input, which Lunar does not currently have but is willing to implement. We would then be a part of Lunar's team to help implement this feature in their app, requiring us to work with them until symptom input has been programmed into the app. At this stage of the project, should we collaborate with them or reach out to a more developed app?

 

A CleanAir Greece Suggestion:

Recommended to partner with them considering it is the first app to respond and is an opportunity to make the algorithm opensource so other apps could also use it.

August 2, 2018 at 8:52 AM
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REMEMBER TO CHANGE NAMES OF APP/RESEARCHER AND ATTACH ONE-PAGER

For apps:

Dear [names of app developers],

We hope you’re doing well. We are a group of New York University students at the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Summer School in Geneva working on a project concerning cervical cancer called At Your Cervix. The SDG Summer School is run by the Geneva Tsinghua Initiative in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

Our project concerns using women’s menstrual cycles to notify them of irregularities that may require further medical attention, particularly early symptoms of cervical cancer.

India has the highest rate of cervical cancer in Southeast Asia. We know that you have a large user base in India and believe that partnering with you is a great opportunity to reach the people most at risk for cervical cancer. Maya already has an incredibly extensive and useful track record that has impacted millions of people who menstruate. 

We've noticed that Maya has started to expand its objectives and loved receiving your questionnaire asking users what they wanted to see next, and we want to join you in helping users get the best service they can. When someone has preexisting records of how their menstrual cycle works, noticing their individual irregularities as they appear can drastically improve their reproductive health. We believe that our mission to increase early detection of cervical cancer greatly aligns with your goal to build the most comprehensive women’s health tracker. We would like to offer our resources and connections to help your users take even more control over their lives.

Please let us know if you are interested in moving forward or if there is someone else in your organization that we should get in touch with. 

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best,

 

For researchers:

Dear Dr.,

We hope you’re doing well. We are a group of New York University students at the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Summer School in Geneva working on a project concerning cervical cancer called At Your Cervix. The SDG Summer School is run by the Geneva Tsinghua Initiative in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

Our project concerns using menstrual cycle mobile apps to notify them of irregularities that may require further medical attention, particularly early symptoms of cervical cancer. We are particularly interested in creating a symptom dictionary for people who may be experiencing irregular symptoms but are not sure how to define them. We are looking to create the definitions based on the actual experiences of cervical cancer survivors. The internet is saturated with medical jargon, and we strongly believe that it is time to create easy, relatable resources for the everyday person.

We read your article XXX and wanted to reach out. Your vast experience in cervical cancer research would be of great help and we were wondering if we could gain more access to your research.

Attached you can find more information as to what we plan on creating.

Please let us know if you are able to share more information on your research, are interested in offering your expertise or in continuing the conversation.

Additionally, if you can think of someone else that we should get in touch with, we would love to be connected.

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best,

August 2, 2018 at 9:18 AM
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As a new app, the developers are willing to implement symptom input and other ideas that would allow for the algorithm to detect a normal cycle and irregularities.

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August 3, 2018 at 9:46 AM
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Steps towards partnering with Lunar include sharing resources, writing down our expectations of the partnership, and how much we would like to contribute to the development of this project.

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August 3, 2018 at 1:10 PM
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What the algorithm will calculate with the user input, written in word form

August 6, 2018 at 4:44 AM
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August 6, 2018 at 4:57 AM
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Algorithm to detect irregularities written in Python

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August 6, 2018 at 8:32 AM
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Name/ Link:Innovation Venture Fund:

What is it? NYU's seed-stage venture capital fund.

Deadline: None on Website. Just need to fill out within 7 days of starting

Prize: Not specified but based on projects need.

Application Type: Online forum. Need to be able to fill out Venture Profile ( outlined on website)

What are we missing: Website


 

Name/ Link:The $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge aka WE ARE STERN

What is it? 3 different programs (new venture, technology venture and social venture)It is an 8-month program involving more than 750 students, alumni, faculty and researchers from 16 schools across NYU’s global campuses, all of whom compete for a total of $300,000 in cash prizes and pro bono startup services. You’ll experience how-to workshops, hands-on boot camps and one-on-one coaching sessions—all designed to guide you step-by-step through the startup process, from idea to launch.

Deadline: Sept 6 to oct 6 (2017) so similar hopefully in 2018

Prize: each has a different prize range. But can be upwards of 75k

Application Type: Each team should submit 1 collective application. Eligibility quiz first

What are we missing: We don’t know yet since 2018 hasn’t opened yet

 

Name/ Link: NYU Changemaker Challenge

What is it? Last year it had info sessions in september and then applications and such october-december

Deadline: December

Prize:Most people win $1,000 with the grand prize being 10,000

Application Type: Goes in steps Attend an Information Session and the Design Thinking workshop ,Submit an Executive Summary ,Pitch the Ide

What are we missing:NEED TO SIGN UP FOR EMAIL LIST:

 

Name/ Link: Prototyping Fund

What is it? The NYU Prototyping Fund is a collaborative program offered by the Design Lab @ NYU Tandon MakerSpace and the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute. used to build hardware or software prototypes, and connects them with the resources, tools, and mentors they need to bring their ideas to life.

Deadline: Fall 2018 cohort apps open in september

Prize:awards teams of students up to $500 in the first round of funding and up to $2000 in the second

Application Type Not described yet

What are we missing:

 

Name/ Link: VC Pitchfest

What is it?VC Pitchfests are a unique opportunity for NYU entrepreneurs to present their ventures and innovations to a panel of VC and angel investors and a room full of fellow NYU entrepreneurs in a friendly competition.

Deadline:These take place upto three times per semester. Check out our Events Calendar for upcoming Pitchfests this semester.

Prize: The opportunity to pitch!

Application Type “If you are interested in pitching your business, contact an Investment Associate at the Innovation Venture Fund.”

What are we missing:

 

COOL WORKSHOPs: Startup School

Its Free!

 

Name/ Link:PowerBridge NYC

What is it?PowerBridgeNY is for scientists and entrepreneurs seeking to accelerate the commercialization of their cleantech. The accelerator helps technologists to determine product-market fit, de-risk their technologies by building early prototypes, and to validate their technology through customer and industry interactions.  Mentorship Jan- March and then final pitch april-may

Deadline: October 6th to November 1st

Prize:This is done by offering teams up to $150K to conduct 100 Customer Discovery interviews and develop a prototype or conduct in-field testing to move the technology closer to commercialization via a startup (preferable) or license.

Application Type: You (principal investigator) and your entrepreneurial lead apply to the program by submitting a Pre-proposal through FluidReview.

What are we missing: A PI !!!

Projects must have disclosed their invention to one of the 6 partner institutions (Brookhaven National Lab, Cornell NYC Tech, Columbia University, CUNY, NYU, or Stony Brook). You do not need to have been issued or even applied for a patent, but the invention must be disclosed before a pre-proposal application is submitted.

 

August 7, 2018 at 9:37 AM
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Phone call with the founder of Lunar-meeting notes

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August 9, 2018 at 12:15 PM
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August 9, 2018 at 12:40 PM
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August 19, 2018 at 11:50 PM
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August 22, 2018 at 6:10 AM
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