I’m sure all women enjoy taking off their uncomfortable bras at the end of a long day, but wearing this contraption might just save your life. And you only have to wear it for at least an hour a week.
Julian Rios Cantu, 18, and his three friends developed the EVA Bra, a tool designed to help women monitor the temperature, shape and weight of a woman’s breasts. The data is recorded by 200 biosensors built into the fabric, which is then logged into an app that tells women about any concerning changes in their anatomy.
Cantu’s company, Higia Technologies, won the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) on April 27-29. Although their product is only in its early prototype stage, winning the competition netted them $20,000 to continue development, according to the BBC. Higia Technologies claims that it is dedicated to “boosting women’s quality of life by attaining a professionalisation of the self-exploration method for the early and effective detection of breast cancer.” I want to give these boys behind the EVA an award myself.
So many women are misdiagnosed every year, leading to late diagnosis and even death. According to facts posted on the Higia Technologies website, there are about 8,200,000 breast cancer-related deaths every year. In comparison, there are only 1,700,000 cases in which breast cancer is accurately diagnosed. It’s sad to admit, but there is a huge gap in how men and women are treated in hospitals. When a man complains about pain, he gets the whole nine yards of treatment. When a woman complains about pain, our hormones are usually blamed.
Five years ago, Cantu’s mother got a checkup about some strange lumps on her breasts. Initially, doctors told her they were not malignant, however six months later they were declared cancerous. She had to have both breasts removed. The mastectomy could have been avoided if women’s concerns were taken more seriously in the medical field.
This experience spurred Cantu on to find or create a device that would detect cancer earlier, which is how the EVA bra came to be.
There are multiple signs that might point to developing cancer, but often times it’s hard to keep track of the subtle changes in our bodies. Tumors can often cause a part of our breasts to swell or alter the temperature of our skin. The EVA bra aims to keep track of these changes.
“EVA is a network of biosensors that covers the woman’s breast, takes the temperature data, analyses them, and sends the information to an application or any computer,” said Rios Cantu, according to Infobae. “As soon as there is a malformation in the breast or a tumour, there is an over-vascularization; so to more [flow of] blood, the higher the temperature.”
As of now, it’s unclear just how accurate his prototype is. Since it’s still in the early stages of development, it will take time before this product can be used in a clinical setting to diagnose cancer. However, Higia Technologies has made the first big step towards a medical breakthrough that can save millions of lives.
I can’t wait to see how far he goes in a few years.