Despite all the suffering, hardships also have tremendous inspiration potential. After almost losing his mother to breast cancer, one Mexican teen decided to help women all over the world to detect the disease in its early stages.
“When I was 13 years old, my mother was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer,” 18-year-old CEO and co-founder of Higia Technologies, Julián Ríos Cantú says. “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.”
This inspired Ríos Cantú to create Eva, an auto-exploration bra that helps women detect breast cancer early on. The device already won the top prize at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards finals competition, in which 56 student entrepreneurs from 56 countries competed.
The cornerstone of Eva are its tactile sensors that map the surface of the breast, and monitor its texture, color and temperature. Users can view their condition via a mobile or desktop app. “We take all that data and store it,” Ríos Cantú explains. “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.”
The invention is still only a prototype but its creators estimate it will be certified for use in two years. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 82,000 women will die of breast cancer during this period in the US alone.