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* Teenage boy designs bra that detects symptoms of early breast cancer
* Technology uses biosensors to monitor temperature, texture and color
* 1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer
After 18-year old Julián Ríos Cantú’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, the Mexican teen decided to take matters into his own hands. With three of his friends (17 years old at the time) the young men founded Higia Technologies and designed a prototype of a bra that helps detect early signs of breast cancer using a tactile sensor embedded in the cups, called Eva. Last Saturday, Cantu’s innovative bra won the top prize at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards finals competition, defeating the other 56 student contestants from around the globe.
“When I was 13 years old, my mother was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer,” Julián Ríos Cantú said in a video explaining his invention. “The tumor went from having the dimensions of a grain of rice to that of a golf ball in less than six months. The diagnosis came too late and my mother lost both of her breasts and, almost, her life.” The American Cancer Society estimates that about 41,070 women will die from breast cancer this year in the United States alone and that 1 in every 8 women will develop the disease during their life time. While this bra was designed best detects breast cancer symptoms on women who have a genetic predisposition to the disease, the technology behind its data-collecting sensor technology seems promising.
The Eva bra will work to detect early signs of the disease by monitoring skin texture, temperature, and the color of the breasts to look for symptomatic patterns that point to the presence of a tumor. The information is monitored over time and the data is transferred to a mobile app. Cantu explains: “When there is a tumor in the breast there is more blood, more heat, so there are changes in temperature and in texture. We will tell you, ‘in this quadrant there are drastic changes in temperature’ and our software specializes in caring for that area. If we see a persistent change, we will recommend that you go to the doctor.”
Unfortunately the Eva bra is only is still in development and Cantú estimates that it will take about two years for the high-tech bra to become approved for consumer use.