Directorate of Transfer and Development | The explosive rise of PALPA, a device for breast self-examination created at UC

December 14, 2020.

In Chile, 3 out of 10 breast cancer diagnoses correspond to women under 40 years of age, who present physical characteristics in their breasts that reduce the effectiveness of a mammogram. This implies that 30% of breast cancer cases must be diagnosed by alternative methods, such as self-examination.

Encouraging the self-knowledge of each woman becomes, in this context, an effective tool for the detection of breast anomalies, as well as a necessary routine for prevention. For this purpose, Palpa® was designed, a device that brings self-examination closer to the daily life of women.

Created by Josefa Cortés and Bernardita Figueroa (UC Design), Palpa consists of a shower sponge that allows women to practice the breast self-examination technique. This silicone device has a massager at the bottom, which is filled with liquid soap to simulate the density of a real breast.

By using this sponge, a tumor can be felt that is present inside, with which the technique and movements to recognize tumors can be trained, preparing the user to perform the examination with greater confidence.

“Basically, what we want is for young women to remember the importance of self-care and to see self-examination not as a problem, but to become familiar with it and become aware of it,” said Josefa Cortés, creator of Palpa.

Recently, the PALPA team made the donation of 23 devices to the Fundación Chile sin Cáncer to be delivered to women who participated in the “Breast cancer prevention workshop” at the Sótero del Río Hospital in Santiago.

“The donations were made by people who bought through the website. It was given to women with breast cancer, so they can share it with members of their family who may have a genetic predisposition to this disease, so that they can detect the abnormality early. We will continue to make these donations, as they are extremely important to support these women, ”added Cortés.

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Recently, the Palpa team was present at the SI Summit 2020, a program launched by the Municipality of Santiago, in conjunction with Santiago Innova and CityLab Santiago, where they received a fund for being first on Pitch Day.

On the other hand, this invention was also present among the 8 Latin American startups finalists of Brain Chile, an acceleration program for science-technology-based ventures.

Additionally, Palpa participated in the final of Challenges in Cancer, a program aimed at the search, design and implementation of innovative solutions in the approach to cancer in Chile, in the category Access to Innovation and Early Detection.

“As a team we found that 2020 was incredible. They were great achievements, since in addition to starting sales, we received a lot of recognition that motivates us to continue working. For this next year, we already have a fair in the United States and we are planning to enlarge the team to meet the needs we are having now, as well as to get more alliances to have B2B sales, and with that, to reach more women “said Josefa Cortés .

Soon, Palpa will launch a limited edition of its device with soaps from the local Madison & Co brand, which will be available for purchase on the official site

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