Julián Ríos Cantú, a Mexican teenager whose mother nearly died of breast cancer, has designed a revolutionary new bra that can help women at risk detect the disease in its earliest stages. The young entrepreneur has founded a company, Higia Technologies, to bring his breast-cancer detection bra, Eva, to market. Last week, Ríos Cantú’s invention secured the top prize at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards finals competition, beating out 56 other student entrepreneurs from as many countries.
“When I was 13 years old, my mother was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer,” said Julián Ríos Cantú, now 18, in a video for Higia. “The tumor went from having the dimensions of a grain of rice to that of a golf ball in less than six months. The diagnosis came too late and my mother lost both of her breasts and, almost, her life.”
Using tactile sensors, Eva monitors the texture, color and temperature of a woman’s breasts. According to Ríos Cantú, the bra has the potential to revolutionize early detection of breast cancer in at-risk women, but it may take two years before the product is officially certified for use.
“When there is a tumor in the breast there is more blood, more heat, so there are changes in temperature and in texture. We will tell you, ‘in this quadrant there are drastic changes in temperature’ and our software specializes in caring for that area. If we see a persistent change, we will recommend that you go to the doctor,” explained Ríos Cantú in an interview with El Universal. “Why a bra? Because it allows us to keep the breasts in the same position and it doesn’t have to be used more than one hour every week.”
According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women worldwide, and poses a particular danger in developing countries where cases are often diagnosed late. In 2011, an estimated 508,000 women across the world died of the disease.
Watch a video demonstration of Eva below.
Read the full story at The Huffington Post.