Researchers in Nigeria have developed a smart brassiere, which they say can detect breast cancer early.
The prototype contains tiny ultrasound sensors capable of scanning the breasts and revealing the location of tumours.
The Nextwear Technology team hopes the device could improve breast cancer diagnosis in Sub-Saharan Africa, where women are currently forced to undergo long journeys to access screening services.
The smart bra was developed by Nextwear Technology, a wearables firm based in Abuja, Nigeria.
Kemisola Bolarinwa who developed the smart bra, said: ‘My beloved mother died of breast cancer in 2017 at the University College Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria because it was diagnosed late.
‘In her ward at the hospital, I saw women of different age groups, even teenagers, groaning in the pain of breast cancer.
‘That was when I felt I needed to contribute my part to fight the disease.’
Bolarinwa is the founder of Nextwear Technology, the first wearable technology startup in Nigeria. She is a Robotics and Embedded system Engineer, with exceptional tech skills.
The bra is lined with small, battery-operated ultrasound sensors, and syncs up with a mobile or web app.
‘The result will show if the tumour is benign [harmless] or malignant [harmful],’ Bolarinwa explained.
‘The smart bra must be worn on the breasts for a maximum of 30 minutes for the result to show.
‘The app also has an interface for the result to be transmitted to a doctor.’
While women currently have to go to the doctor to be screened for breast cancer, Bolarinwa says that women could use the device safely from the comfort of their homes.