A new wearable device tracks menopause in women and helps counter hot flushes with cooling technology.
A smart wristband, called Grace, has been created to track menopause and ease symptoms of hot flushes. The product designer is Peter Astbury, an industrial and UX designer based in London. Runner up for The James Dyson Award 2017 and shortlisted for The Morgan Innovation & Technology Prize 2018, Grace is already gaining recognition for its innovative design.
Grace is the first non-invasive alternative to solutions for menopause such as prescription drugs and herbal remedies. It works by using three integrated sensors in the wristband that identify a hot flush before it occurs. The body’s thermoregulatory system begins to lose heat prior to a hot flush. Grace can sense this happening in a wearer about one minute before the wearer detects the flush themselves. Upon detection, the wristband applies cooling technology to the wrist. This sudden cold impression on the wrist signals to the brain and triggers an opposite reaction in the body. The wearer evades hot flushes and regains confidence from knowing they will not experience any unpredictable sweating.
The current design includes two batteries, allowing Grace to be active for 24 hours. The design is sleek and discreet but it is visible on the wearer’s wrist, changing attitudes toward menopause as a taboo subject. Filing for a patent application, the designer is now seeking funding to further develop the product.
Innovations in the field of women’s health, such as Grace, build confidence by giving women more control over their health. A UK startup predicts when women will need tampons each month using AI. In Finland, a clip-on device can track if a birth control pill has been forgotten. As well as offering women more practical health solutions, these products and services are breaking taboos around periods, contraception and menopause. In what other ways can new design solutions target topics less commonly spoken about?