Thanks to some clever Brits, feminine health has been getting innovative.
Astinno, a femtech start up, has received funding to develop a jewelry-like device that alleviates perimenopausal systems – often known as hot flashes (or hot flushes).
It’s called Grace, and it has just been awarded the Innovate UK prize by a publicly funded UK grant. And Loughborough University, Peter Astbury’s (the founder) alma mater, is also footing some of the bill by funding 100% of the grant costs.
What are hot flushes exactly?
Hot flush symptoms include reddening of the skin, sweating, and elevated breathing. It’s caused by the hypothalamus (the area of the brain associated with regulating body temp) that accidentally thinks a person’s body temperature is high… which then triggers the physical symptoms.
It currently affects 1.5 million women in the UK alone, which means it affects millions more worldwide.
For many women going through menopause, this can be uncomfortable and a huge inconvenience – since it can happen anywhere, and anytime.
Peter Asbury thought of this idea back in 2016 when he spoke to a woman who would constantly wake up throughout the night, and would have to run her wrists under cold water to cool herself down due to her menopausal symptoms.
This conversation sparked an idea – and its name is Grace.
The Grace wristband alleviates symptoms by providing a cooling sensation to the skin once it detects that biological reaction. Then, it uses the body’s natural temperature regulation to prevent overheating – 24 hours a day.
By using sensors and an algorithm, Grace can detect when you’re about to get a hot flush. Then it quickly provides a cooling sensation to the wrists (where the jewelry is worn) to cool the body down before a woman gets a hot flush.
It basically “learns” your hot flush patterns and beats the flush before it gets to the body.
The product is disguised as a piece of statement jewelry that can be paired with the GraceApp on a smartphone. This will help users track and manage their symptoms.
Astbury states, “The hope is to eventually allow women to anonymously share their data from the app. The output of this could facilitate the largest menopause study to date, highlighting global patterns in relation to age, nationality, lifestyle and more.”
But, it’s currently still in development. Astinno is yet to announce Grace’s launch date – but we’ll keep you updated!
How is this shaping women’s future health?
The mainstream media lately has been taboo-busting menopause. Efforts from Michelle Obama’s podcasts regarding health and menopause have helped other women feel empowered to talk about feminine health and wellness issues.
Research by TechCrunch shows the global market for femtech health products has generated over $820 million last year, with hopes of hitting $3 billion by the end of 2030.
For our female readers, do you think this product is useful and could potentially help women worldwide? Would you recommend it to a woman in your life?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!