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A peek into Teal’s award-winning research

During Teal Health’s pilot clinical study, Dr. LaShonda Crane, Principal Investigator at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, submitted the preliminary data as an abstract and was awarded the Thomas V. Sedlacek, M.D. Prize for Best Clinical Research Abstract.

Key takeaways

  • Dr. LaShonda Crane, FNP-C, APRN, and Principal Investigator at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, spoke about her experience with Teal Health’s pilot clinical study and its benefits for her patients
  • Dr. Crane, was awarded a prize for Best Clinical Research Abstract by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) during the 2023 annual scientific meeting
  • Of her initial experience and research with the Teal Wand, Dr. Crane said, “This product can save lives.”

While the Teal Health cervical cancer self-collect device, the Teal WandTM, undergoes clinical testing to support FDA submission and review, a lot is going on behind the scenes. We wanted to share what that process looks like and highlight some of our incredible research and medical partners. The Teal Health team spoke with LaShonda Crane, FNP-C, APRN, and Principal Investigator at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, about her experience with Teal Health’s pilot clinical study and receiving an award from ASCCP for best clinical research abstract.  

What it means to be part of Teal Health’s pilot clinical study

Dr. Crane explained that she and her team agreed to be part of Teal Health’s pilot clinical study because of the Teal Wand’s potential to “fix a lot that is wrong in women’s health.” She said, “the speculum looks like a medieval torture device. Women don’t like having this exam done. I’ve worked at Planned Parenthood for 17 years and I was once years late on a Pap smear even though I could have a sample collected at any point across the hall. And I’m not even facing the issues that so many of our patients experience, like the inability to pay for care or get a day off from work to get a Pap smear. It’s just such an awkward, uncomfortable exam.” 

Dr. Crane has seen firsthand how “what we’re doing is not working” when it comes to keeping all women and people with a cervix up to date on this life-saving screening for cervical cancer. She was excited to partner with Teal Health on research to evaluate a new self-collect device (the Teal Wand) to expand options for screening and ultimately support efforts to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health concern.

Additionally, by engaging with studies like Teal Health’s, it provides them funding so they can continue to support women who need healthcare services, but might not have the resources to get good care. “In Texas [where Dr. Crane lives and works], our patients don’t typically have insurance. Because of very specific laws around research and nonprofit status, this [research partnerships like the study with Teal Health] is sometimes what keeps our clinic doors open and enables us to serve our patient population.” 

Teal Health researcher selected for ASCCP Thomas V. Sedlacek, M.D. Prize for Best Clinical Research Abstract 

During Teal Health’s pilot clinical study, Dr. LaShonda Crane submitted the preliminary data as an abstract. Her abstract, titled “Novel self-sampling device for HPV and Pap cytology to increase cervical cancer screening access and adherence,” was awarded the Thomas V. Sedlacek, M.D. Prize for Best Clinical Research Abstract and was selected to be presented as an oral presentation at the 2023 American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) Annual Scientific Meeting. 

According to Dr. Crane,

“I do what I do because it’s the right thing and the natural process of development. So sometimes I’m caught off guard when it becomes ‘prize-worthy.’ I’m just focused on the long-term benefit and hoping that [this type of recognition] means we get more exposure so we expedite the process and help more women.”

We’re thrilled for Dr. Crane’s accolade, and how her support, along with our other study locations, have contributed to our very promising research findings so far: 

  • High agreement for detection of HPV when compared to clinician collect (positive percent agreement (PPA): 93%, negative percent agreement (NPA): 91%)
  • 92% of participants preferred self-collect to clinician collection with a speculum
  • 83% reported a greater likelihood of screening with a self-collect option  

Dr. Crane’s abstract was based on 67 women who successfully self-collected with the Teal Wand. Results showed that Teal Health’s self-collection Wand showed high agreement with clinician-collected HPV detection using two FDA-approved primary HPV assays and that the vast majority of women preferred self-collect to clinician-collect.  

What’s next 

Research continues and Teal Health is dedicated to bringing self-collect through FDA review to provide greater options to women and people with a cervix. The next step toward making the Teal Wand widely available is a larger clinical study. Learn more about the study, which will enroll participants across the country and compare results from patient self-collection to a clinician collection using a speculum. 

While Dr. Crane finds the research fascinating, her focus remains on the benefits awarded to her patients from advancements like self-collect cervical cancer screening. Of the Teal Wand, she said,

“This product can save lives.”

While Teal Health works to bring the Teal Wand through the FDA process, don’t wait to get yourself screened and stay healthy! In the meantime, you can also join the Teal waitlist to be notified when we’re available in your area.