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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

How smart bra serves as breast scan -Nigerian robotics system engineer Kemisola Bolarinwa

A Nigerian robotics system engineer, Kemisola Bolarinwa, has described how the smart bra she had designed conducts breast examination to determine the presence of harmless or malignant cells in the mammary gland.

She said the smart  bra was constructed using ultrasound technology and equipped with 14 sensors linked to a USB outlet via cables.

“When worn for at least 30 minutes, the bra conducts a breast examination to determine the presence of harmless or malignant cells. Thereafter, the results are sent to the wearer via a mobile app,” the engineer said.

She said the smart bra also serves as a vehicle for raising awareness about breast cancer.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2020, breast cancer was the most common cancer among women worldwide, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases diagnosed.

In the same year, approximately 685,000 women died from breast cancer, according to WHO.

For many years, researchers have investigated how cancers manage to evade detection by the body’s own defenses, despite the immune system’s vigilant monitoring of cells.

According to experts, many factors can contribute to this disease; however, recent technological advancements have led to the innovation of tools for the early and precise detection of breast cancer, such as Engineer Bolarinwa’s smart bra.

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Speaking about the inspiration behind the smart bra device during her feature on the BBC, Ms. Bolarinwa said she was inspired to work on the project after losing her aunt to breast cancer in 2017.

She said if the cancer had been detected and treated earlier, her aunt probably wouldn’t have died.

“During the times I visited my aunt at the University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital, I saw other women, especially the young ones, groan in pain. They were so sick and helpless.

“So, one day, I approached one of the doctors and asked him what could be done to prevent the spread of cancer. It was during our conversation that I knew that early detection could save nine out of 10 women from death.

“So I took up the challenge to find a solution or any tool that can help detect the disease on time.”

Shortly after her aunt’s death, Kemisola said she initiated her research and innovation, which lasted for two years. The smart bra prototype was launched in February 2022.

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According to BBC Africa, this innovative bra device stands out for its remarkable accessibility, and it is very beneficial to individuals in rural or low-income areas that lack good healthcare facilities.

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