Bloomer Tech Develop Smart Clothes To Improve Women's Heart Health

Bloomer Tech Develop Smart Clothes To Improve Women's Heart Health

Though preventable, heart disease is the number one cause of death globally, representing over 30% of all deaths. More women die from heart disease than men, and approximately one woman die every minute of heart disease in US alone. Warning signs for women are not the same as men, and heart attacks doesn’t always have obvious symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath and cold sweats. Despite this, women are less represented than men in cardiovascular health research, leading to an information gap and underdiagnosis.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup Bloomer Tech is aiming to better understand and monitor women’s cardiovascular health. They are developing flexible, washable circuits with sensors that can be sewn into the lining of a bra. The patent-pending circuits will be able to monitor electrocardiogram signals, pulse rate, respiratory rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen saturation in blood, body temperature, and position and movement of the body, sending real-time data to an app on the smartphone via bluetooth. The app provides interactive tools to help women improve their heart health, letting patients note the context around any adverse symptom or discomfort, and enable them to share the gathered information with their doctor to better prevent and treat cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, more than all cancers combined. Yet, only 13% of women surveyed by the American Heart Association thought heart disease was their biggest health risk. While it is estimated that about 80 percent of all cases can be prevented with education and action, mortality rates continue to climb as women are frequently misdiagnosed or not treated.

Bloomer Tech is developing an innovative technology that can help acquire more gender-specific information to improve women’s heart health. They use sensor technology to transform how people understand their bodies and help prevent and more effectively treat heart disease. The wearable provide women with information about their heart health in real time that can help give feedback on treatment efficacy and wellbeing, personalizing and optimizing healthcare. It can help raise awareness, reduce barriers to timely assessment and treatment, increase access to care, improve health outcomes and survival rates.

Bloomer Tech is named after women’s rights advocate Amelia Bloomer and was founded in 2015 by a group of researchers who came up with the idea while at Singularity University, a program in Silicon Valley seeking technological solutions to humanity’s biggest problems. The startup is now based at MIT where they are developing prototypes. They have received MIT Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) Seed Grant, been part of MIT Sandbox, the MIT Kickstart program in Hong Kong, and MIT delta v.