At just 23 years old, Judit Giró Benet of Spain has a list of academic accomplishments that’s a mile long. Now, she can add “award-winning inventor” to that list!
Her groundbreaking creation, The Blue Box, was the recipient of the International 2020 James Dyson Award, a prize that was designed to help young engineers take their innovations to the next level.
The Blue Box offers people a way to detect breast cancer earlier — from home — using only a urine sample and an AI algorithm. Since one out of every three cases of breast cancer is detected late, Judit hopes her invention will save lives by making diagnoses quickly accessible to everyone.
Judit has always been interested in math and science. Her dad is an electrical engineer, and he has inspired her to think like an engineer all her life. She considered becoming a medical doctor, but eventually her path toward biomedical engineering became clear.
“One day, when I was 15, I went with one of my teachers to an exhibition on future career pathways and I heard someone giving a speech on biomedical engineering,” she explained. “Hearing that was very, very close to falling in love for me and I knew I had to study this!”
But it wasn’t until her own mother’s cancer diagnosis that Judit was inspired to create The Blue Box. Her scientific mind was also intrigued by dogs who can sniff out cancer in humans.
“If the dog barks, they know the human has cancer. And the dogs, they are never wrong — they are always right, which shows how amazing nature is,” she said. “So, I thought, if the dog is able to do that, why wouldn’t my Arduino microprocessor be able to?”
Years after having the idea, Judit is now one giant step closer to her dream of seeing The Blue Box in every home for just $60.
Winning the Dyson award will help her progress in two ways. First, she has a larger platform in the scientific community. “Also, the prize money will let us patent the product,” she said. “And if we are patented, we are able to pitch to investors. So instead of taking two years, it will take half a year. It’s a huge difference.”
Judit is currently working on perfecting The Blue Box at the University of California Irvine. Next will come clinical trials and FDA and EMA approval!
Thank goodness for smart, innovative people like Judit! This product has the potential to help so many people lead longer, healthier lives.
Share this story to congratulate her on winning the International 2020 James Dyson Award.
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