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ONCOGRID: An mHealth Approach to Prevention and Early Diagnosis of Oral Cancer in Rural South India
The Indian sub-continent is burdened with 80% of the world’s patients with oral cancer, and delay in oral cancer diagnosis is one of the major problems that leads to poor treatment outcomes (V. Shanta, R. Swaminathan, R. Rama. Cancer Control 2013). Current screening and treatment programs are not optimized for early diagnosis, treatment and cure of most patients; most Indian patients live in remote, rural communities and are diagnosed only when the cancer has progressed and is difficult to treat. CCGHE has partnered with colleagues in India and Boston to evaluate a novel mHealth application to support the screening, referral and clinical care of patients with oral cancer.
The ONCOGRID study, led by Dr. Radhika Chigurupati (Associate Professor of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery at Boston University), is a cluster-randomized trial comparing standard screening and diagnosis of oral cancer to an mHealth approach using a system supported by the CCGHE-developed eMOCHA platform.
Dr. Chigurupati, Dr. Moni Kuriakose from Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center, and several other partners from dental schools in India will conduct the study in seven rural districts in Karnataka. The study aims to determine if mHealth support can increase diagnosis of early stage oral cancer and pre-cancer lesions and provide access to earlier treatment.