A connected bra developed by Students at l’École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, (EPFL) in collaboration with start-up company IcosaMed, could revolutionize breast cancer screening. This SmartBra will help with early detection of breast cancer in order to reduce the number of deaths among women suffering from the disease. “The aim of this intelligent textile is to prevent and detect cancer early, using frequent, non-invasive and painless monitoring methods,” says Hugo Villette, one of the students who helped create the bra.
Marketing is expected in 2021
This “intelligent textile” is designed to help women avoid being exposed to mammography x-rays, which is as of today is the only way they can be screened. This bra uses a system that uses ultrasound waves generated by piezoelectric sensors that are triggered by simple pressure. “This solution allows the detection section of SmartBra to be miniaturized to ensure maximum comfort and almost absolute discretion,” says Hugo Vuillet. This system replaces the gel applied during ultrasound with a plastic interface containing an ultrasonic emitter. If an abnormal mass is found, a visit to a specialist is recommended to confirm the diagnosis.
Smart bra to detect breast cancer
EPFL students developed SmartBra, the first connected textile in the world of cancer treatment. A smart bra made in collaboration with the IcosaMed start-up.
This connected bra is expected to hit the market in 2021 and already promises a small revolution in breast cancer diagnosis. Hugo Villette explains: Today’s medical care is expensive and has many side effects that greatly diminish the quality of life of patients. In addition to being a detection tool, the solution we propose aims to act prophylactically to prevent the development of cancerous masses through the almost continuous and controlled distribution of low-dose ultrasound to restore apoptosis (the process by which cells cause self-destruction) in the long term.
The other smart underwear should follow…
The first commercialization will be directed at women who have already been diagnosed with cancer, so that they can follow the evolution of the disease on a daily basis, and will then be offered to women with genetic risks, and eventually to all women. If all goes according to plan, these smart bras should, in the coming years, give rise to other promising products, such as underpants and bodysuits to detect and prevent different types of cancer.