Two futuristic devices on the horizon could profoundly change women’s health by making screening for two common cancers more accessible and easy to use at home.
These burgeoning technologies still need to gain FDA approval, but they are examples of scores of new breakthrough tools that are transforming medicine and could be coming to a store near you.
A Bra that Detects Cancer
Imagine a bra that does far more than lift and separate. A high tech firm in Reno, Nevada is working on a “discreet wearable thermodynamic sensor” placed in a bra that can spot changes in breast cell metabolism — a sign that might suggest a tumor is forming.
First Warning Systems is planning to launch a clinical trial of its smart bra device later this year. The company’s goal is to revolutionize breast cancer screening with an accessible, cheaper and more sensitive device that can mitigate some of the current challenges screening mammograms face.
Some of these challenges are high rates of false positives (when breast tissues look abnormal but no cancer is actually present) or false negatives (when mammograms appear normal even though breast cancer is present).
The device is a small, 16-sensor array placed under the bra where it collects 12 hours of breast cell data. The sensors monitor changes in body heat and other types of energy.
The device transmits the cell data through the cloud where the company’s algorithms search for irregular patterns in cell behavior indicating disturbance in circadian rhythm, reported MedCity News.
Several studiesover the last decade have shown that disruptions in the circadian (sleep-wake) cycle can increase a women’s breast cancer risk.
Company CEO Rob Royea told Medcity News that the core technology used in the smart bra has been tested in more than 500 patients.