New IoT bra can detect early signs of breast cancer

The impact of IoT continues to grow, and there is hardly an area not affected by it. But arguably the most important applications of IoT are those in the field of medicine, where IoT can have a huge impact on monitoring of human health and prevention or early diagnosis of certain diseases.

The newest device that demonstrates this notion is the iTBra.

A bra connected to the internet?

If put like this the idea sounds ridiculous, but in reality it may end up saving millions of women.

This connected bra, which could go to market globally in the first half of 2018, is intended for the early detection of breast cancer.

How does the connected bra work?

The iTBra, made by Cyrcadia Health, contains 16 sensors that detect changes in breast tissue. The sensors are contained in a patch that attaches with an adhesive to the patient’s skin. The patient wears the iTBra for 2 hours, and the data collected is sent directly to her physician for analysis. It’s an alternative to the discomfort of a mammogram, and it’s especially helpful for women with dense breast tissue, such as Royea’s own wife, Kelli Royea, who is featured in the documentary.

Royea explained that the bra works “through predictive algorithm approach (artificial intelligence), all processing is accomplished in a cloud based analytic location. The results of the screening are automatically sent to the user, stating simply good to go, or you may want to see your physician. If the user selects to include the physician data in their application, that physician can get an immediate email to the need for a physician follow up requested. If the insurance company has financed the garment, they too could be notified with an automated alert of the need for follow up exam.”

To develop the bra, Royea used sensors that received FDA clearance in the late 1980s but weren’t feasible for this mainstream use because back then, the lack of IoT connectivity required a woman to be physically connected to a machine via cables for two days, and they had to be attached by a physician. Royea’s goal was to put this proven technology into a scalable product with marketability as a wearable device, so that it could be easily worn by millions of women and thereby create a massive database for analytics to help with early detection.

Big Partners

The groundbreaking character of this product has come on the radar of the tech giant Cisco, who decided to sponsor a Detected, a 16-minute documentary about the struggles of the developer of the bra, Rob Royea, and how his wife’s family breast cancer history spurred him to push for the product’s creation. The movie will debut in Beverly Hills on June 5.

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