In June of 2022, it was announced that Nigerian robotics engineer, Bolarinwa Kemisola developed a bra that can detect breast cancer.
The device can help in the fight against breast cancer in Nigeria where an estimated 17 thousand women die of the disease every year.
The smart bra contains a total of 14 sensors connected to a USB outlet with cables.
The system also includes a phone application where the procedure can be followed.
The device also helps to raise awareness about breast cancer.
The Nigerian scientist stated that she devoted herself to finding a solution to breast cancer on the day her aunt died.
Following the advice of several healthcare professionals and scientists, the first working prototype was ready by February 2021.
My beloved aunt died of breast cancer in 2017 at the University College Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria because it was diagnosed late,” says Bolarinwa, founder of Nextwear Technology, a wearable technology company based in Abuja, Nigeria.*
“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.”
According to research many women in Africa do not know what cancer is and when confronted with it resort to traditional medicine.
Bolarinwa tells SciDev.Net that women could use the device safely from the comfort of their home to check their breasts on a regular basis.
“If they could detect early that they have cancer, then they will be safe, and many don’t have to die,”she explains.
The engineer and her team started work on the design in 2018 and by February 2020 had come up with their first prototype. Since then, the company has developed ten more, she says.
“We have conducted a local trial and got about 70 per cent accuracy. We are working towards 95-97 per cent accuracy,” says Bolarinwa.
According to the data of the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 600,000 women died of breast cancer in the world in 2020, and just over 74 000 of them in Africa.