Dotplot: Breast monitoring tool helps women do self-examination

1 in 7 women in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime
& 31 die every day.

Postgraduate students at the Royal College of Art have created a wearable tool to help women check their breasts for abnormalities.

The wearable device, called Dotplot, is a breast health monitoring tool that uses a sensor technology to create a map of the user’s chest and take measurements of their breast tissue.

Dotplot is programmed to locate different areas around the breast in order to map the reading to a specific point, meaning any changes in tissue density can be easily detected.

When used over a period of several months, it is able to provide month-by-month comparisons of breast tissue, helping to flag abnormalities as soon as possible. The long-term goal is to help more women detect potential breast cancer earlier.

“Our aim at Dotplot is to remove the confusion and misconceptions around self-monitoring,” students Debra Babalola, Shefali Bohra, Himari Tamamura and Yukun Ge, students at the Royal College of Arts (RCA) and Imperial College London, told Dezeen London.

“We want women to take care of their breast health with confidence, clarity and ease”

Women can connect the Dotplot device to an app via Bluetooth, and while pressing the device against their breasts, they can read a step-by-step guide to checking each area of ​​their breasts.

Instructions include prompting women to follow the pointer on the screen to move the device across the breast to cover the entire breast.

The application provides feedback in real time and at the end of each check, it creates a report that can be compared with statistics gathered from previous months. It also reminds users to check every month.

The first phase of developing the device prototype involved asking a group of women of different ages how regularly and in what ways they check their breasts.

The students found that many women are confused or even afraid to do breast self-examination, despite the fact that it is a key method for detecting breast cancer in its early stages.

We were surprised to hear that women who had been told how to do self-checks by their GPs were still not 100 per cent sure they were doing them correctly,’ said the designers.

“Others worry that once a lump is found, death is certain and this has prevented women from checking their breasts as regularly as they should, for fear of feeling a lump or abnormality.”

The students hope the Dotplot will help prevent more cancer diagnoses while encouraging women to make it a habit to check their breasts.

“Our aim is to make breast health care routine and to show that discovering changes in your breast tissue is nothing to fear – especially when caught early,” they said.

“We then asked ourselves, how can we ensure that women get these screenings right, in order to reduce the number of deaths per incidence of breast cancer,” they added.

“The good news is that early detection increases survival rates to 93 percent, so when the prognosis is early, treatment is easier.”


Source: Εναλλακτική Δράση by enallaktikidrasi.com.

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