Shout-out to 18-year-old engineering student Julian Rios Cantu for scooping top prize at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards for his invention that can help detect breast cancer.
Julian was inspired to create the EVA bra after his own mother's fight against breast cancer, with which she struggled several times before eventually having both breasts removed. Breast cancer is a leading cause of death for women in Mexico, ditto for the UK, where around 11,400 people die every year from the disease – mainly those aged between 35 and 49.
The EVA bra is made using hundreds of biosensors which record what the surface of the breast looks and feels like and, over time, can track any changes in shape or temperature or weight.
According to Julian, the data would then be fed back to a computer which would monitor the changes for potential increased blood flow. "As soon as there is a malformation in the breast or a tumour, there is an over-vascularization," he told El Universal. "So the more blood, the higher the temperature."
Julian chose the concept of a bra because it makes sure the breasts are in the same place and, even better, it only has to be worn for an hour a week. It is hoped that EVA will provide a "less aggressive and painful alternative to mammograms."
He developed the invention primarily for women who have a genetic predisposition to the disease. His company is named Higia Technologies, after Hygieia, the goddess of health, prevention and hygiene. It is positioned as a company "devoted to boosting women's quality of life by attaining a professionalisation of the self-exploration method for the early and effective detection of breast cancer."
The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards give away $20,000 for the top prize, which Julian can now use to further develop his invention. He said on his Instagram that his next challenge is Silicon Valley, California. Here's hoping he gets there.