Judit Giró Benet has invented the world’s first at-home breast cancer detection kit
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 250,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women each year and about 2,300 in men in the United States alone. It is responsible for the annual deaths of 42,000 women and 510 men. As with most cancers, early detection is key in treating the disease and preventing fatalities, which makes regular testing incredibly important. However, due to the fact that many people don’t have insurance and testing is expensive, in addition to a mammogram being uncomfortable, some women opt to skip the annual exam.
Fortunately, a brilliant 23-year-old woman has come up with a groundbreaking solution to the problem, and could save thousands of lives in the process. Meet Judit Giró Benet from Tarragona, Spain, the International winner of this year’s James Dyson Award, who created the world’s first at-home breast cancer testing kit dubbed The Blue Box.
Inspired by her own mother’s battle with cancer, Benet invented the The Blue Box; an easy-to-use at-home, biomedical breast cancer testing device that uses a urine sample and an AI algorithm to detect early signs of breast cancer. Here’s the kicker: the device will retail for just $60. “An entire household of women can use The Blue Box at their desired frequency and convenience,” Benet tells Scary Mommy about her invention.
Here’s how it works: After creating a profile at The Blue App, the user will collect a urine sample in a plastic container and place it inside The Blue Box. Then, they press the “start” button in the app. During the following 30 seconds, the six chemical sensors inside The Blue Box (in direct contact with the urine) will start reacting to certain targeted breast cancer biomarkers – if any. “The captured signal will then be sent from The Blue Box to the cloud, where our artificial intelligence algorithm is run. Once our algorithm has reached a diagnosis, it will be sent back to the user’s phone and displayed in the app,” she continues.
“The Blue Box is a change in the way society fights breast cancer,” she says. “As opposed to the current painful and inconvenient routine procedure that often times leads to anxiety, The Blue Box enables women to get self-tested at home.”
Another cool aspect of it, is that the contraption gets smarter with time, “because The Blue Box is powered by artificial intelligence, the more it gets trained, the better it performs. Namely, every time YOU use it, you are causing the woman coming after to the get an even more accurate result. Ultimately, The Blue Box seeks to create a change in the way we, as a society, fight breast cancer.”
Currently Benet and her team are working on patenting The Blue Box and receiving FDA approval. “Once these steps are complete, the hope is that it will be simple to purchase The Blue Box online and receive it at home,” she tells us. And, she hopes that this will happen sooner rather than later.
Benet has big dreams for her device, hoping that it can one day replace traditional mammograms altogether. “I envision physicians using The Blue Box as the primary step in diagnosing a case of breast cancer. But I will not be the one saying that. Our clinical data will prove that.”