Design and Process of Implementation Mobile Application Based Modular Training on Early Detection of Cancers (M-OncoEd) for Primary Care Physicians in India

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Snehita Women’s Health Foundation, Trivandrum, Kerala, India.

2 Department of Community Medicine Sree Gokulam Medical College &RF, Kerala, India.

3 RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.

4 Department of Surgical Oncology, Regional Cancer Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India.

5 Former Special Advisor on Cancer Control and Head of the Section of Early Detection & Prevention (EDP) and Former Head of the Screening Group (SCR), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), World Health Organization (WHO), Lyon, France.

6 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Paripally, Kollam, Kerala , India.

7 Directorate of Health Services, Government of Kerala, India.

8 Director, Zovoz Technologies, India.

9 School of Public Health, Kerala University of Health Sciences, India.


Background: Early detection of curable cancers is a cost-effective way to address the cancer care burden of low- and middle-income countries and active engagement of primary care physicians using mobile technology can have a significant impact on cancer outcomes in a short time. Aims: To describe the process of mHealth study; Oncology Education and Training for Providers using Mobile Phones which developed a mobile application (M-OncoEd) to educate physicians on approaches to early detection of curable cancers. It also aims to describe how the insight gained through qualitative research by the researchers was used in the design and implementation of the project. Methodology: Qualitative research methods were used in all the phases of the study. Phenomenology was used in the formative phase with three expert meetings, two Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and five In-depth Interviews (IDI), and during the implementation stage with two FGDs, three IDI, and five informal discussions. Observations: The majority of curable cancers are detected at a late stage and poorly managed in India, and active engagement of primary care physicians can have a significant impact on cancer outcomes. There is a lack of knowledge and skills for early detection of cancers among consultants and physicians and this can be attributed to the training gap. M-OncoEd was a need-based well designed engaging learning platform to educate primary care physicians on Breast, Cervical, and Oral Cancer early detection. It was found to be very useful by the beneficiaries and made them more confident for early detection of cancers from the community. Conclusions: This research study could design a need-based, cost-effective mobile-based learning tool for primary care physicians using the expertise and experience of the experts in cancer care using qualitative methods.


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