It’s no secret. Women don’t exactly love mammograms. They are awkward, uncomfortable and stressful. Nevertheless, almost 60 million of us get them regularly because we know it’s critical for early detection of breast cancer. With one in eight women being diagnosed with the disease, there’s hardly a single family in the U.S. that hasn’t been impacted by breast cancer in some way. And women in some states are at considerably higher risks of developing breast cancer.
But there are lesser-known issues that make the breast cancer screening experience even more difficult for many women. To properly read and interpret a mammogram, physicians need to see images from prior exams. That’s because breast tissue is unique to every woman; so comparison with prior exams is crucial to properly interpret possible changes in tissue over time.
How do doctors get these vital images from prior mammograms? Well, if a woman changes doctors for any reason, (as many of us do over time), that usually means it’s her responsibility to request them from the provider, then wait for her images to be burned onto a compact disc (yes, a CD!). Often, it’s her responsibility to physically deliver this CD to her new doctor before her breast cancer screening appointment.
Wow. Not at all what you’d hope for in the 21st century, right? Besides the delay, hassle and frustration, this cumbersome process has potential financial, clinical and social impacts.
Doctors need prior mammograms to make the most accurate diagnoses. Without these images, a woman is more likely to receive a false positive. That, in turn, can lead to costly and invasive testing, along with additional radiation exposure.
Approximately $4 billion is spent every year in the U.S. because of false-positive mammography results and overdiagnosis of breast cancer. Meanwhile, we have thousands of women experiencing unnecessary stress and testing because they’ve been told they might have cancer when over 95% of the time, they don’t! How can this system be the norm in today’s digital, connected, Bluetooth-enabled world?
I’ve spent the past ten years working in population health and well-being promotion. In partnership with my teams, I’ve worked to introduce products and consumer experiences within healthcare that provide simple solutions to help people live better lives and get the care they need when they need it.
Despite many advances, healthcare remains a challenging and intimidating world to navigate. We know prevention is important, but navigating the system is still confusing and to many, just overwhelming. The harder it is to coordinate, schedule, show up and pay, the more likely consumers are to avoid the process altogether. We can’t allow that to happen. In healthcare, we need to modernize and make the experience truly patient-centric. We need to make it simple and easy.
Mammosphere does just that. With Mammosphere, a patient’s prior mammogram images and complete breast health history are securely stored in the cloud, making it available to any healthcare professional, anywhere and at any time. This is a powerful patient engagement tool that empowers the 60 million women in the U.S. who regularly get screened for breast cancer with digital ownership of their own prior exam data. It’s a simple, accessible way to put women back in control of their own breast health experience.
This is what is so exciting about Mammosphere. As I learned about Mammosphere, I found myself thinking, “This makes so much sense! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before!?”
Imagine: having access to your own health data, right from your smartphone. It sounds like the 21st century. It sounds like it’s time for Mammosphere.
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