A Mexican teenager has invented a new bra that could help women detect early signs of breast cancer. The “Eva” bra– which resembles a sports bra– would only have to be worn for an hour to 90 minutes a week, and carries sensors that map the breasts’ surface, color, and texture.
Increased blood flow to the skin that brings about changes in temperature can sometimes indicate the presence of cancerous tumors. By tracking and logging the data (analyzed by a neural network) in an app, the Eva bra can notify wearers of any changes that may mean a future trip to the doctor.
Though the bra is still a prototype, if Eva is successfully tested and approved, it could make detecting breast cancer easier.
The current means of detecting the disease are self–examination or a mammogram screening at doctor’s office. Mammograms can detect breast cancer up to two years before the tumor becomes noticeable through touch, but many women don’t get screened regularly.
The Eva bra was designed by 18-year old student Julian Rios Cantu. He came up with the idea after his seeing his mother survive a rough bout with breast cancer in which she ultimately underwent a double mastectomy.
Cantu won the $20,000 top prize at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards for his idea. A John Hopkins Medicine specialist, who declined to go on the record with Fox News, was optimistic about it, noting the bra needed to go through trials but that there is data on infrared that supports Cantu’s innovation.
Detecting breast cancer is very difficult in Mexico, where– according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development–there are only 9.5 mammography machines per million people. Rios’ mother lived, but what she went through inspired him to help millions of women who can’t get checked regularly.