Julián Ríos Cantú first came up with EVA, a bra that uses thermal technology to possibly detect breast cancer.
Julián Ríos Cantú was just a teenager when he invented a bra that could help detect cancer. The disease is not unfamiliar to the young man whose mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Luckily, she was able to get the medical procedure done just in time despite an inaccurate diagnosis. Her son took it on himself to research more about breast cancer knowing how important early detection is to treat the disease. Cantú later invented EVA, a bra that used thermal technology to detect breast cancer.
In 2017, an 18-year-old student from Mexico, Julian Rios Cantu, created a bra that can detect breast cancer using biosensors after his mother nearly died of this illness.#MythAndFact pic.twitter.com/xYiz3JjRbs— MYTH AND FACT (@MythAndFact) February 15, 2021
“Eva was born five years ago through a very personal motivation, my mother was a breast cancer survivor on more than two occasions and then passed away from the disease. The same story is for my partners, Raymundo and Antonio my co-founders. And as a result of this personal event, we could not sit idly by and decided to dedicate our days to working on something that would prevent some women from suffering what our loved ones have suffered, ”said Cantú in an interview for Entrepreneur en Español, according to Entrepreneur.com.
Cantú explained how the bra worked to Parentology, saying, “Tumors surround themselves with blood vessels to obtain oxygen and nutrients in order to continue growing,” Cantú says. “The blood is the main heat fluid in the body, more blood, more temperature.” The bra uses 192 thermal sensors to detect and analyze heat distribution in the breasts. The information is sent via an app to the wearer's phone. The unique clothing is worn by a person once a week for about 60 to 90 minutes to get an accurate result.
Back in 2017 when Cantú was only 18 years old, he and three friends made the prototype. Their company, Higia Technologies, beat young entrepreneurs from around the world to win $20,000 to develop their idea, reports BBC. At the time the bra was in its early stages still. Anna Perman from Cancer Research UK told the BBC, "We know that tumors often have an abnormal system of blood vessels, but we also know that increased blood flow isn't necessarily a reliable marker of cancer. At present, there is no evidence to show whether this bra is a reliable way to detect tumors, and it's certainly not a good idea for women to use technology that hasn't been tested in good-quality scientific trials. It's great to see young people like Julian getting into science and having ideas that could help with cancer diagnosis. But an important part of science is rigorous testing, to make sure innovations like this actually benefit patients."
But now, Cantú has shifted focus from bra to a booth. Entrepreneur reports that "Eva Center is a smart booth that offers an experience powered by a digital infrared imaging device and artificial intelligence approved by the FDA." Women can take a private exam in commercial places like in shopping malls around the Mexican Republic. Here, women can meet with a doctor inside and a machine analyzes the breast through the creation of a thermal map using infrared light.
It costs about 400 Mexican pesos (approximately 19 dollars) and lasts less than 10 minutes! "Something that I always like to make very clear is that we do not intend to substitute mammography in any way, it is a method other than ours that complement each other very well, there is research where it has been proven that if a method like Eva is used together with a mammogram," he said. Eva also has a membership that gives other benefits in the area of women's health. The company does not have national coverage yet but women can apply for a membership online.