Breast cancer is a serious problem that takes lakhs of lives each year. Like many other diseases, early diagnosis and care are key measures to contain the number of deaths. Students from the Swiss university EPFL have made a breakthrough in this regard.
The students have developed a ‘smart bra‘, designed to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. The students claimed that the ‘bra’ is the first piece of clothing that can be used for cancer prevention and is comfortable to wear. The bra uses electromagnetic waves for detection and diagnosis.
As per students, the bra uses ultrasound waves, which are generated by piezoelectric sensors embedded in the bra. Energy is generated when pressure is applied to a piezoelectric material. This has allowed the students to miniaturize the ultrasound technology. Students have also developed a plastic interface to replace the gel that is typically used during ultrasounds.
They hope to bring the SmartBra to market in 2021. Initially, they would sell it to patients who have already been diagnosed and might benefit from daily monitoring The bra helps early detection by making the wearer aware when it detects a suspicious mass. Most of the big tech companies though use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to help diagnose early-stage breast cancer. In this regards the Smart Bra is a proof of concept, but the idea is promising.