First Warning Systems unveils plans for a hi-tech device that can be worn inside the bra to help detect breast cancer.
One million women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year – and of those, 400,000 will die.
Catching the cancer early is crucial to survival rate – and the efficacy of traditional annual mammograms as a reliable detection method is being called into question, with tumors beginning to form up to six years before they can be detected using mammograms.
First Warning Systems believe their device will play be able to detect tumors early on and reduce the rate of false positives and negatives – thereby helping women seek treatment as soon as possible following a diagnosis.
The invention takes the form of a sensor that is placed inside the undergarment where it will measure any changes in cell temperature caused by the blood vessel growth associated with tumors as they develop.
Medcitynews.com reported that the sensor will also contain software that uses pattern recognition, chronology and artificial intelligence to look for changes in breast tissue that might indicate a tumor was present.
They report that the size of breast tumors and how far the cancer has spread are crucial elements in determining the prognosis of women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Advancing technology – 3D mammography and thermography, for example – have gone some way in bringing early diagnoses to women. But these common methods are not infallible.
“Concerns with patient discomfort, exposure to radiation and false positives and negatives have spurred the creation of numerous other screening methods,” they said.
They report that a number of medical organizations are in the process of developing new methods of cancer detection.
Philadelphia firm UE Lifesciences is testing sensors for a handheld device intended as an alternative to mammograms.
Another, Ascendant Diagnostics, has had success in testing protein levels in tears as a way of detecting cancer early, while Delphinus Medical Technologies is in the process of developing an ultrasonic breast cancer detection device.
The launch of the bra is reported to be planned for 2013.
First Warning Systems smart bra:
• Monitors change in cell temperature caused by blood vessel growth associated with developing tumors
• Pattern recognition software looks for changes in breast tissue that might indicate a tumor was present
• Bra set for release in 2013