Employing blind women for breast cancer prevention /
Discovering hands® (DH) trains and deploys visually impaired women to detect the early signs of breast cancer. During a 9-month training, they become “Medical Tactile Examiners” (MTEs), capable of delivering high-quality physical breast examinations at doctors’ practices, hospitals or discovering hands centers. The examinations follow a standardized diagnostic method that was specifically designed by DH. The enterprise’s unique approach thereby transforms a perceived “disability” into a capability, opening a new field of meaningful employment for blind women. Preliminary results show that detection rates for smaller tissue alterations are superior to those achieved by doctors in a standard 1-3 minute breast examination. After the conception phase (2006-2011) DH was able to successfully demonstrate the viability of its business model in its core markets Germany (home market) and Austria (first social franchise).To scale its model in the core markets as well as expand the social franchise to international markets, DH successfully raised a second round of financing, again with support from FASE.