Home » Women's healthcare » Could your next smear test be done from the comfort of your own home?

Randolf Ten Cate

Business Development Manager, Rovers Medical Devices

One-third of eligible women across the UK do not attend their smear test, resulting in the development of at-home cervical cancer screening kits to address the gap.

According to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 130 UK females will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime, with around 99.8% of cases being preventable. The NHS urges eligible women to schedule potentially lifesaving cervical screening, yet nearly a third fail to respond.

Barriers to cervical screening attendance

Randolf Ten Cate, from Rovers Medical Devices, highlights the barriers to attendance. “At-risk women are not attending appointments due to a variety of reasons; they are worried, embarrassed, fear discomfort, have cultural reasons or potential previous trauma or simply do not have enough time,” he explains.

“We strongly encourage women to visit their appointments. However, it is also important to be able to address their unmet needs, through the use of an at-home self-testing kit.” Since the NHS recently pledged to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040, they have started their HPValidate pilot study of such a tool, to address screening attendance barriers.

It is also important to be able to address
their unmet needs, through the use
of an at-home self-testing kit.

Reliable, comfortable HPV screening

Ten Cate outlines the essential criteria, which must be met for an at-home screening programme to be adopted nationally. “The test must be reliable, consistent across all demographics, have stability across all seasons and, last but certainly not least, it must be comfortable for women.”

Rovers Medical Devices have developed their Evalyn Brush, in conjunction with a panel of women and gynaecologists. It is a comfortable and reliable at-home cervical cancer screening device. Collected samples are sent to a laboratory to detect human papillomavirus (HPV), which is responsible for over 90% of cervical cancer cases.

“The Evalyn Brush is already used in numerous other countries,” Ten Cate adds. The tool gives women testing autonomy and bridges the critical gap between smear test non-attendance and cervical cancer rates throughout the UK.

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