Innovation is about trial and error, it’s challenging to think about a never-seen-before idea that works. The thought process usually tackles a problem that needs solving but the innovation comes when we think laterally. Lateral thinking is getting a solution the unusual – yet still practical – way, that’s the genius of it and that’s why people that do it so well are called geniuses.
So there’s this problem where women are suffering more from heart diseases than men. It turns out that the diagnosis should differentiate itself between men and women. But the process is the same for both genders since forever. Alicia Chong, a Costa Rican engineer worked her way into the problem by innovating. She thought about a brazier that can monitor vital signs in order to detect heart diseases.
Bloomer Tech is the company that makes this possible. A Latin American group of people gathered at Singularity University and came up with the idea. Right inside the entrails of Silicon Valley, the college works in Nanotechnology, Digital Biology, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.
Heart disease, a problem for women
The American Heart Association says that the number one reason for death in women is heart problems. What’s more, Leeds University did a study on heart diseases: Women are 50% more prone into being wrongfully diagnosed after having a heart problem than men.
Chong knows about these problems and decided to tackle the problem’s core, diagnosis. So the team considered that the best way for a better diagnose is including it in everyday clothing. The prototype includes a temperature sensor, a breathing monitor, a battery and a Bluetooth module. The device sends information to a smartphone with an app that tracks a woman’s health. This could simplify the patient-doctor communication.
The Costa Rican engineer adds that once a patient has heart problems, constant diagnose is a must. Being that treatment needs checking to see if it’s working as it should.
Alicia Chong, a Costa Rican in MIT
Chong is currently doing a Mastery in Product Development and Design at MIT. The first prototypes of the ‘Bloom Bra’ as she calls it we’re focused in practicality. The Latin team basically sew the circuits into a regular bra for testing. After the team got funds, they designed a more appropriate brazier so that it could be comfortable.
The engineers didn’t have problems finding models for the prototype, “The people at MIT are always willing to help”, adds Chong. The Latin American team on the project even had help from MIT students in developing the app.
Chong says that the goal of making smart clothing is making a positive impact on people. “The fact that it’s something you can use and it brings a benefit being a precise medical tool is our objective”, she ends. The team is currently testing a database module that can store patient records for medical reviews.
The MIT team plans to test their prototype in Latin America, Chilean women could test the device in the next few months. Apart from this, the Ibero-American Bank for Development gave recognition to Bloomer Tech for their efforts and innovation in the health department.
This proves that there’s still room for innovation, making new and creative ways to solve problems is one of humanities goals. The answers that the world needs may not lie in one field alone. The new trend is connecting different areas to come up with never-thought-before ideas. This shows how competitive and knowledge demanding the world has become. Being a lone specialist is not enough these days, a team effort is required and that’s exactly what the world needs to solve its major problems. A combined and selfless attempt from everyone.