About the solution
The team came up with a specially-insulated bra that holds in heat, keeping the chest warm throughout the day. The innovation looks and feels like a normal bra.
Jodie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, and she underwent a double mastectomy. A couple of years later, Jodie noticed her breasts were freezing. But she only realized this once she touched them.
“They were very, very cold, and my whole core was cold. When you have a mastectomy, your tissue is removed, and your ability to generate heat is removed because the blood supply is gone. Your nerve endings are gone”, she explained.
Jodie told this to her plastic surgeon, who advised her to put hand warmers in her bra. This turned out to be a bad idea as her breasts were getting burned, and Jodie couldn’t feel it. But at the time, the only solution for cold breasts was to use hand warmers or battery-powered warming bras, which lead to problems and can take away from a sense of normalcy.
She did some online research and realized other women like her had also been burned by hand warmers. After spending some time online, Jodie read about Spectrum Health Innovation, a program that encourages employees to come up with ideas and solutions to benefit their patients and the community as a whole.
Talking to her daughter, Jodie had the idea of a bra that would keep the cold out. With the help of Students from Central Michigan University, this idea was brought to reality: a specially-designed bra to help keep women's breasts warm following double mastectomies and reconstructive surgery.
After some trial and error, the device is now being tested and the team hopes to sell it for the same price of a regular bra, so that it can be accessible to everyone who needs it. The team is also working toward licensing the intellectual property from Spectrum Health and creating a startup company to manufacture and market the thermal bra.
This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.
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