What is your invention? Where did you get your inspiration from?
Women today lead very busy lives and juggle many responsibilities. This unfortunately leaves them with very little time to actively manage their own health, and makes them vulnerable to one of the most common cancers amongst women – breast cancer.
This inspired me to come up with Luna – a connected and integrative 2-part breast care device. It allows women to self-examine their breasts in the comfort and privacy of their homes, and detect any early signs of breast cancer.
How does your invention work?
The handheld unit incorporates a soft screening pad interface made of flexible, bio-elastic materials and multiple sensors to feel for lumps on the breast and thus detect abnormalities under the surface of the skin. The other unit is meant for charging as well as a visual platform for reading stored records.
Embedded intelligent biomedical technology also helps generate reports that track any changes in the user’s breasts, which can be valuable information for doctors.
Why were you inspired to enter the JDA?
As a designer I was keen to know what the industry thought about my invention, and if they saw potential in it. I had also felt that joining a prestigious design competition such as the James Dyson Award would also lead to new opportunities.
What James Dyson Award prize did you win? How did the prize help you?
While I wasn’t the National Winner or Runner-up, I was recognised as the ‘People’s Choice’ awardee. The recognition I received from the James Dyson Award and the resulting coverage helped me build my confidence as a designer, and gave me a sense of validation to the way I approach design.
What did you learn from entering the James Dyson Award?
Conducting deep and thorough research is incredibly important if you wish to develop a product that has the potential to make it to the market. It’s not just about designing a product, but also thinking about how it could be commercialised and made into a viable business model.
What were your next steps once you won your prize?
I had hoped that a company would been keen to further the development of Luna. While that did not happen, I was not discouraged in any way. Developing a healthcare technology product can be an incredibly complicated process, and perhaps technology in general at the time was not yet at a level advanced enough to be translated to a product on the shelf.