October is breast cancer awareness month, and if all the pink coffee lids aren’t raising your awareness, here’s something that might: a company called First Warning Systems has developed a sports bra that may help detect breast cancer at very early stages—years before mammograms and self breast exams.
Using censors dispersed throughout the bra as well as pattern recognition software, the bra can detect angiogenic activity—a change in cell temperature that occurs with the new blood vessel growth associated with developing tumors.
The data the bra collects is then uploaded to a computer where it’s analyzed by algorithms and then displayed to the user.
In three clinical trials involving 650 participants, the bra has shown indications of cancer up to six years before a tumor can be detected by imaging, according to the company. And the capital equipment investment is small— less than $1,000.
One in eight women will have breast cancer in her lifetime—one million are diagnosed each year. Considering breast cancer caught at its earliest stages has a nearly 100% survival rate, early detection technology embedded in clothing sounds like the future—more so than GPS shoes, invisibility cloaks and other “wearable technology.”
According to the company’s site, they plan to start testing in the European market in early 2013.