Research studies have repeatedly confirmed that MammaCare@ is an
effective method of learning to perform a competent manual breast
examination. The MammaCare Learning System advances tactile skills
by training a woman to detect small simulated lesions in a lifelike
breast model and transferring that skill to her breast tissue.
Approximately 10 million blind and visually impaired women and deaf
and hard-of-hearing women cannot access the requested visual or
auditory training components of MammaCare. During the Phase I grant,
a series of adaptive prototype systems were constructed and tested
experimentally. The results indicate that the prototypes significantly
improve breast-examination proficiency in the experimental groups of
blind and visually impaired women and deaf and hard-of-hearing
women. The Phase II proposal investigates the use of the adaptive
prototypes by 1,000 women at home, 500 of whom are blind or visually
impaired and 500 who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The results will
establish whether the experimental adaptive versions are sufficient to
allow women with sensory impairments to successfully conduct breast
self-examinations at home. If affirmed, the benefits of this potentially
life-saving technology will become available to a substantial population
of underserved women.
PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The proposed adaptive products
for breast self-examination (BSE) have a large potential audience. There
are approximately 10 million blind or deaf women in the United States
who may be able to use the applicant's system as a result of this
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