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Cisco's IoE keeps abreast of cancer

iTBra developed with customer Cyrcadia is a sensor-based wearable for early detection

The Internet of Things/Everything can serve as a potentially lifesaving tool. Sensor-based wearable technology can monitor bodily vitals to determine if any health risks are imminent.

Cisco and customer Cyrcadia Health are involved in the development of what it calls an iTBra to monitor a woman’s body temperature to determine if she is at risk for breast cancer. The iTBra is a personal screening tool intended as an intelligent monthly breast health monitor.

The iTBra is made up of patches placed under a normal bra that collect up to 12 hours of normal and abnormal cellular activity associated with breast cancer. The iTBra bra is designed to take tissue density, a gating factor in the accuracy of mammography screening, out of the detection equation.

Mammography false negative results increase dramatically with patient tissue density, Cyrcadia says, but the iTBra does not rely on varying tissue densities in its screening. Instead, the iTBra measures temperature variances to identify abnormalities at early stages of abnormal cell growth and proliferation.

Patented predictive analytics process and report abnormal cellular change, and in some cases lesion location, to the physician remotely. A smartphone or other mobile device can receive these alerts and other personal data, and share it with a big data/predictive analytics database on the back end.

“The technology can go from fitness, to wellness, to individual health, to highly scalable” cancer detection analytics, says Rob Royea, Cyrcadia CEO.

Health wearables have the potential to decrease hospital costs by as much as 16% over five years, and save the U.S. healthcare system $200 billion over the next 25 years, says Echo Labs, a maker of wearable technology for health and wellness.

Cisco helped develop the algorithms for detecting and communicating this data. Flextronics is developing the wearable sensors. Salesforce.com is responsible for the HIPPA-compliant interface and back-end database.

Cisco and Cyrcadia even produced a documentary film – “Detected” – that looks at the potential of wearables and the Internet of Everything in early detection of breast cancer.

The iTBra is in trials at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA, Ohio State University and Stanford University’s Canary Center. Former Cisco executive Don Listwin is founder and chairman of the Canary Foundation.

Trials will last through June. The iTBra will be available outside the U.S. in the first quarter of 2016 and in the U.S. in early to mid-2016, depending on FDA approval, Royea says.

It will be made available through physicians and then perhaps through garment makers Under Armour and Reebok, Royea says. It then may be offered over-the-counter.

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