'Smart bra' finds breast cancer long before mammogram
The new bra with brains boasts early detection with up to 90 percent accuracy.
Mon, Mar 18 2013 at 1:36 PM
Photo: First Warning Systems
Hot on the heels of Smart e-Pants, the electrode-studded skivvies that shock away bedsores, a new piece of smart lingerie is in the works. And this one may be a lifesaver.
A new “smart” sports-bra styled brassiere gives new meaning to the term “Wonderbra"; the high-tech garment can detect cell mutations in the breasts up to six years before they might be picked up by a traditional mammogram, says the company behind the bra.
Dubbed the “First Warning System,” the device contains 16 small sensors that monitor heat patterns and the shape of the breast to track minute changes in temperature caused by the growth of blood vessels. The bra’s computer then compares deep tissue abnormalities picked up with its sensors to bioinformatic profiles of cancerous tissues, which the company says allows them to deliver a detection alert with up to 90 percent accuracy.
Remarkably, the bra is so sensitive that it can detect tumors that have only been developing for a few years. Mammograms are unable to detect tumors that young.
The company, First Warning Systems, has yet to release clinical trial data for the device that has been in the works for decades, but it is currently in its fourth and final clinical trial. They hope to have FDA approval and get the bra on the market within a year.
“This is not a diagnostic tool; it’s a screening tool. You can think of it as a smoke alarm,” said Matt Bernardis from First Warning Systems.
And apparently, an effective alarm at that. Some 20 years ago, Nedra Lindsay agreed to take part in a breast cancer study evaluating an early prototype of the device. During the study she discovered that she had breast cancer, but she was only 25 years old. She credits the device with saving her life, telling CBS Boston in the video below that the sensors that are now in the bra showed “proof positive that I had cancer.”
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