A student from Loughborough University in the UK is developing the first wrist-worn wearable to help relieve menopausal hot flushes.
Called Grace, the device counteracts the symptoms of a hot flush, which include sweating, a rise in heart rate, shortness of breath and a reddening of the skin. It does this by tracking temperature, pre-empting when a flush is about to happen, and reducing body heat via a localised cooling mechanism at the wrist.
Thanks to three sensors in the wristband, hot flushes can be detected around one minute before the user is even aware of them. As soon as this happens, a thermoelectric chip delivers an intense cooling sensation to the wrist, sending a signal to the brain that makes the body react in the opposite way to a hot flush.
Current solutions for this issue include prescribed drugs or herbal remedies that often have unpleasant side effects, or a manually operated device that can only be used once the hot flush has started. Grace is the first to offer an automated option that predicts the incident before it occurs. The automated cooling is particularly useful for alleviating night flushes, as it allows users to sleep soundly instead of waking multiple times in the night.
Creator Peter Astbury is currently conducting market research and plans to seek funding for development soon.