The Teaching Tool: A digital cervix for colposcopists

2010

Challenge

Colposcopy—examination of the cervix with a specialized microscope—is a widely used diagnostic technique for cervical cancer, a disease that affects nearly a quarter of a million women in the U.S.  Cervix Uteri There is an ongoing need for effective knowledge assessment in this area, both for medical professionals in training and working clinicians seeking to advance their skills. Since colposcopy is image-based, an image-based assessment allowing for interaction with the images would be ideal.

Advance

IRP researchers led by Rodney Long, M.A., in collaboration with colleagues at the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP), have developed the Teaching Tool, an interactive online assessment system for medical professionals in the field of colposcopy. This system uses cervicography images to simulate views of the uterine cervix as seen through a colposcope, and includes two assessment exams given by the ASCCP: one for medical professionals in training, and the other for established clinicians.

Impact

Since its release in 2010, the Teaching Tool has been used nationwide in more than 100 Resident Programs in Ob/Gyn and Family Practice, and at institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, Georgetown University, Baylor College of Medicine, and Duke University Medical Center. The tool has been used to give more than 1,000 exams to physicians in training and over 200 established medical professionals who use colposcopy in their practices.