Arizona State University students invent at-home Pap smear device
PHOENIX — Two Arizona State University students have invented a device that will allow women to take a Pap smear test in the comfort of their own homes.
Lauren Emmerson and Anastaia Miller, who are both industrial design students at the university’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, were the creative geniuses behind Domi Care.
Domi Care allows women to test for the human papillomavirus, a sexually-transmitted disease that affects more than 3 million people each year.
Miller told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the idea was first conceived during the Women’s March, when hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration to march on behalf of many causes.
“There was a lot of fear regarding the future of women’s health,” she said. “We were thinking, ‘This is not good, this is not the future we want to see, what can we do to shape the future we want?'”
Miller said the device is familiar to women and is simple to use: Women insert the device, which is similar to a tampon, and push a button to extend it and collect a 360-degree sample. They then send the kit back to collect the results.
Women can track the progress of their test through a smartphone app, view the results and even chat with a doctor.
Miller said the pair are hoping the device will allow younger women, like millennials, to access health care in an easier and more affordable manner.
“Millennials are either uninsured or switching insurance, so they don’t have a primary care physician so they don’t get [Pap smear] tests done,” she said. “We’re trying to increase that access.”
Miller said the women currently have a patent pending, so the next step is to license the product. She said they hope to raise money through crowdfunding or partner with a pharmaceutical company to expand the project.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg, but we thought we could contribute to a better future for women’s health care.”
KTAR News’ Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.