If there is any illness that can sneak up on a person and alter their life completely, it’s cancer. You could live a life free of vices, bad habits and dangers, and still wind up at a clinic where your doctor gravely tells you you’ve got cancer. Sparing neither man nor woman and not even a child, cancer comes like a thief and threatens to loot you of everything you love and enjoy, not just your health. However, although it has many types and attempts to claim many lives, we’re the fortunate ones who are living in time of rapidly advancing technology. One most swiftly growing tech sector is that of wearable technology. And yes, it boasts a little group of devices that are aiming to battle various cancers.
So, on World Cancer Day, we take a quick look at 5 instances of wearable tech that are tackling the threat of cancer – all while they sit pretty on your body.
Men aren’t just scared of guns, knives, torture and beasts. They’re also terrified of killer diseases. Cancers can be killers if they aren’t detected speedily and treated properly. However, the most frightening of them all if you are a man, is prostate cancer. Looking to detect the dreaded condition as soon as possible is ScanMed’s ‘SemiFlex.’ Although not limited to it, the Prostate Pelvic Coil is designed to help your doctor detect prostate cancer in a more comfortable way than most tech that is used for detection. The wearable feels like a diaper but, acting as an antenna, provides high quality images of the reproductive area.
My UV Patch
We’re all familiar with L’Oréal’s cosmetics. Lip products that are luscious, skin products that are gorgeous when applied and hair products that are a joy to your scalp and nostrils. But, did you know that the cosmetics brand also has a wearable to its name? Well, at the Consumer Electronics Show last year, L’Oréal unveiled ‘My UV Patch’ – a wearable patch that sends UV protection recommendations to help you avoid non-melanoma skin cancer. The little blue and white heart sticks to your skin and boasts an NFC (near field communication) tag to talk to a smartphone. The cancer-fighting tech can even survive a few unavoidable showers.
Verily and UCLA’s Wearable Microscope
Wearable patches, smartwatches, smart clips, hearables and even swallowables – we’ve heard of them all. But, have you ever heard of a wearable microscope? Well, such a thing incredibly exists and is even more incredibly capable of detecting certain kinds of cancers. A result of the efforts of Alphabet’s life sciences division Verily and UCLA, the interesting device is made to track fluorescent biomarkers in your skin. In fact, the wearable can also monitor drug delivery in the body through this process. Although this kind of tech does already exist, it is invaluable as a wearable since it’s otherwise not cost-effective and hard to transport.
Although the UV patch from L’Oréal is a very brilliant piece of wearable tech, it also has a slightly unsung rival in ‘Violet’ – a wearable clip from Ultra, that tells you when you’ve reached your maximum time in the sun for the day. The clever little device also works the other way around. So, it will also tell you when you need to head outside and soak up some sun. Helping you keep track of your vitamin D levels, Violet is safe not just for you, but for kidoes too. Moreover, the little clip can be worn no matter what kind of activity you’re engaging in.
Although all the other devices on our list are brilliant little soldiers against varied forms of cancer, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that we’ve saved the best for last. Meet the ‘iTBra’ – a truly smart bra that can actually detect the early signs of breast cancer. The stunning piece of wearable tech has connected patches that are designed to be worn inside the bra. Through these, the bra can detect early signs of cancer even while you’re at home. This cancels out the need for mammograms or ultrasound screenings. The iTBra uses heat sensors to measure its wearer’s circadian temperature changes within breast cells, and sends this data to a smartphone/PC.
Although the world continues to see a lot of its people battle cancer, it is more than comforting to see that gadgets like these are joining the fight against what is probably the most rampant killer disease. Who knows? Maybe some years hence, we’ll actually develop a wearable that can eradicate cancer cells completely. Sounds like a distant prospect, but, as we’ve seen above, the fight is on…