Can this ‘smart bra’ detect breast cancer?
While technology has improved our lives in an variety of ways, the Breast Tissue Screening Bra might be one of the most important developments.
The sports bra, which would be worn in a doctor’s office, uses smart technology to monitor minute changes in breast tissue to predict the presence of breast cancer before it can grow. It contains sensors that monitor temperature changes in cells, which indicates new blood vessel growth. Results are then collected and uploaded onto software used by health professions, who monitor the changes.
While the bra is not yet on the market, trials of the prototype are going well so far, with a more than 90 per cent accuracy rate in detection of cancer. (This compares with a 70 per cent accuracy rate for mammograms, according to some experts.) The ‘smart bra’ is apparently able to detect the presence of cancer more than six years earlier than traditional screening methods.
Early detection not only increases chances of survival, but means more treatment options are available to patients, and their quality of life during treatment is improved.
Some benefits, according to the First Warning Signs website (which licenses the bra):
- Improved quality of care because it is non-radiogenic, non-invasive, and non-toxic.
- Testing (and retesting) is encouraged because it is low cost and non-invasive.
- Enables a patient to build a personal breast tissue history.
- No specialized medical training is required.
- Designed to be used at the point of entry of women into the medical care system, including free standing clinics, offices of general practitioners, obstetricians, gynecologists, and internists.
- Could be made available over-the-counter.
Sources: First Warning Systems, Springwise