Wearable technology embedded in bras helps detect health issues
Youth today are prioritizing wellbeing, and as a generation of health hackers, Ys are seeking products and services that contribute to their quest for healthy living. Tapping this movement, companies are launching fem-forward products that embed wearable technologies into bras.
Researchers and scientists at Colombia’s National University are building a bra to detect early indicators of breast cancer. The bra comes equipped with minuscule infrared sensors to measure breast temperatures. When cells in the mammary gland are abnormal, the body sends more blood to the area, increasing temperature. If a temperature increase is detected, the bra’s small lights flash green, yellow, or red, indicating a healthy read or suggesting further medical inspection. Breast cancer awareness is a prolific cause with young generations, with everyone from the NFL to SoulCycle to Revlon advocating for support and research.
Bloomer Tech, a startup out of MIT, is creating flexible, washable circuits that will be sewn into the lining of bras to monitor cardiovascular health. The sensors can capture biometric data including electrocardiogram signals, heart rate and variability, blood pressure, body temperature, and more. This data will be synced with the wearer’s smartphone for real-time feedback and can also be shared with the user’s doctor. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S., and science and medicine are heavily researching the causes, treatments, and prevention tactics.
A new smart bra is raising funds on Kickstarter to function as a wearable wellness coach. The Vitali is meant to help wearers handle stress; a relevant cause given that 86% of Gen Ys say that they feel stressed. Sensors in the bra track breathing, posture, and heart rate variability. It “taps” wearers when their HRV indicates stress, reminding them to take a deep breath and sync back up with their heart’s rhythm. It does the same when a wearer’s posture is misaligned. The data is tracked via a smartphone app so users can view their patterns and become more mindful of their physical health.