THE development and introduction of the digital video colposcopy camera, SUMASCOPE, for the early detection of cervical cancer, is among the most important scientific accomplishments achieved in Cuba during 2012, according to Dr. Lina Domínguez, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA).
Created by specialists at the Immunoassay Center, in collaboration with staff at Havana’s Diez de Octubre Maternity Hospital, the equipment allows for real time examination of a woman’s cervix, providing enlarged images to assess any type of malignant or pre-cancerous lesion that may appear.
Another advantage offered by the SUMASCOPE is that it allows doctors to save images to include in a patient’s file for future reference and follow-up treatment. Its development required the design of highly complex components and unique software, registered under the trademark SPIC.
The availability of this technology provides social and economic benefits, guaranteeing the implementation of broad-based monitoring programs and allow for the early diagnosis of this type of cancer, the most frequent in Cuban women between 20 and 59 years of age. SUMASCOPE’s development also represents a savings for the country, taking the place of similar imported machines, which cost at least $12,000 each on the international market.
To date, 96 of the digital video colposcopy cameras have been installed across the country, 46 in centers specializing in cervical pathology and 50 in municipal clinics.
The list of scientific accomplishments with significant impact on daily life, this past year, includes the production of a rice cereal fortified with vitamins and minerals. The cereal was developed by the Food Industry Research Institute and Bayamo’s Milk Products Enterprise, to introduce iron, zinc and other nutrients into the diets of children 6-24 months of age. Another novel development was the creation of a tool to measure the strength of extremities of high-performance athletes, used during training for the London Summer Olympics.
Also significant: the generalization of the use of Cuban crude oil to produce aircraft fuel, with the process now utilized in all of the country’s refineries and fuel sold at airports; the micro-propagation of root vegetables and tubers in bio-factories; the publishing of Anthology of Cuban Pedagogical Thought 1953-2005; as well as the completion of a study addressing the effects of climate change on the island’s forestry industry.
According to Dr. Domínguez, CITMA will continue to pursue the objective of strengthening the role of science, technology and innovation in the country’s socioeconomic development.