Creating a self-sustained model for awareness
Promoting cervical cancer awareness by integrating digital and physical mediums

Cervical Cancer is a tough disease that can only be eradicated through prevention. More than 1,22,000 women in India alone are detected each year to be at risk. And yet most of the women are not aware of this disease. CAPED, a nonprofit aims to spread awareness about cervical cancer so that it can be curbed through preventive healthcare measures and lifestyle improvements. Since their inception, they have engaged us to support their various campaigns to increase awareness.


Self-sustained awareness through an app. Read on for the complete story.


Despite having worked with CAPED for over 2 years, very few of the team members at ColoredCow had talked to their female relatives or friends about cervical cancer to support the spread of awareness. This troubling discovery coupled with CAPED’s passion to find innovative solutions drove us into action. It lead to exploring reasons for a limited spread even though it is very common. These were a major areas of concern :


  1. A discussion on cancer is out of bounds in a usual setting or conversation. It is a long and hard discussion.
  2. There’s a biased belief that it cannot happen to “us”. Also, who wants face the fact that they could be a victim to cancer.
  3. Prevention is not in the DNA for action.
  4. There’s no context for most of us to talk about it – if the media covered about the surge of cervical cancer, we all would know about it and it was bound to get the attention. Ex. when H1N1 virus broke out, we all took preventive measures because we saw it in the news everywhere. It was an epidemic.


So one thing was clear, that the solution had to be around breaking the communication barrier. It had to encourage women to learn about the risk and take action. One idea that stuck was- what if there was some source of information that could be read and passed from woman to woman. Sharing of information is the root of generating awareness.
Taking inspiration from people’s desire to suggest and share quotes, we finalised a form of booklet with some inspiring words and facts to be the information source of cervical cancer. The booklet would create a chain- from one woman to another and reach as many women as possible. This became our anchor for the solution.


Making it a personal yet communal activity would be the right approach to attract more women to participate. If they invested their time, they would feel more connected. And they would feel empowered if the community could see their contribution in making an impact. We leveraged one of the raging trends right now – #selfies to be the proof of contribution.

This would happen through a mobile application to facilitate the action of ‘passing on the booklet’. Each time a woman passes the  booklet, it would get recorded in the app along with their selfie. This would also form a network as a result.

It would work something like this:

  • A woman reads the booklet.
  • Physically passes it to a friend.
  • Uses the app to take a selfie.
  • Gets notified whenever the booklet reaches someone new.
  • Checks her connection and all the women’s lives it has touched.
  • Feels empowered.

This integration of physical(booklet) and digital mediums(app) has the possibility of growing further to create a more conducive environment to tackle the disease itself. The complexities and fears related to the disease can be dealt with the support from the women network. App would also help them adopt and track their healthy habits.

As the risk among women grows, a self-sustained and self-propagating solution like this will build resilience against unawareness of cervical cancer.


Breaking the communication barrier around the stigma of openly discussing about cervical cancer


A proposed prototype of the application


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