It’s a sports bra and a medical exam in one — a new garment from First Warning Systems tests for breast cancer, with greater accuracy than a mammogram. The company hopes to get the “smart bra” on the market in Europe by next year, and passed by the FDA in 2014.
Built-in sensors in the bra test for tiny temperature changes over time, communicating the data to pattern recognition software that detects potential tumors. Users upload their results to their computer or mobile phone. In clinical trials, those results correctly identified tumors 92.1% of the time — mammograms typically have a 70% accuracy rate. The bra also detected very early stage tumors, about six years ahead of when regular imaging would be able to spot them.
Ultimately, the Breast Tissue Screening Bra is intended to be more affordable than regular mammograms (which each cost between $150 and $300). The technology should be literally life-changing. As technology-enabled clothing goes, this sure beats anything that’s come before it.