CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Alicia Chong Rodriguez is hoping to disrupt the cardiac care market with a brassiere that monitors the cardiovascular health of women who wear it.
“We hope our product will change the lives of the women who wear it,” Chong said.
Chong and four of her classmates from Singularity University launched a startup called Bloomer Tech, which is currently producing the third prototype of the bra. She hopes to launch the product next year.
The washable, flexible, medical-grade sensors embedded in the bra monitor the wearer’s heart activity including pulse rate, lung sounds, accelerometer, respiratory breathing and heart rhythm. The information is sent via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet using an app, which makes the information available to the patient and her doctor or caregivers.
Chong, who is working on her master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that Bloomer Tech will first market the bra to women who have already had one cardiac episode. The plan is to sell the bra via e-commerce.
While the latest version of the prototype is in development, Chong said it hasn’t been decided yet whether Bloomer Tech will offer a bra already integrated with the sensors, or a sensor package that women can place into their own bra. Ultimately, she said she’d like to work with bra manufacturers who would incorporate the technology into bras that women already buy.
“Technology is giving people information they didn’t have before,” said Chong “These days, you don’t always have to wait for your doctor to tell you what you should be doing, and you can learn instantly what happens to your health when you don’t follow your doctors’ orders.”
Chong and her team have been working with people and groups from MIT on creating the app, narrowing down target demographics, mass production and scaling. While they are still figuring out questions to help them get the product out the door, Bloomer Tech has big plans for the future.
“We hope that more and more women will use our product in the future,” said Chong. “We hope they see the benefits of tracking their cardiac health and knowing their hearts well, and we will ultimately work toward prevention.”