MenoPlay Through The Pain Of Menopause

Menopause, that fireworks finale of fertility, is like a second puberty that works in reverse. At least, that’s what we hear. Along with mood swings and acne, there are new joys like hot flashes that make you want to jump naked into the nearest snowdrift, or at least put your head in the freezer for a while. Sounds great; can’t wait.

The biggest problem with menopause is that it gives suffers pause when it comes to getting help. This is natural, they think. There’s nothing I can do but ride it out. Those who do seek relief are likely to find expensive products that only treat single symptoms. This dearth of solutions inspired [Moinak Ghosh] to create one system to rule them all, a wearable with a suite of sensors that’s designed to take the pause out of menopause.

MenoPlay will take temperature readings at the neck and pelvis and switch on a Peltier module worn on the back of the neck when it senses a hot flash in progress. Exercise is a natural defense against hormonal imbalance, but step counters are too easy to cheat or ignore. The MenoPlay system will model the user’s movements using 9DoF accelerometers and suggest exercises that fill in the gaps.

We particularly like the automation aspect of this wearable. After decades of manually tracking menstrual cycles and everything that implies, the idea of so much useful biological data being collected automatically and fed over BLE to a NodeRed application sounds wonderful.

Hot flashes may not feel useful internally, but would do a fine job of powering the right kind of flashlight.

7 thoughts on “MenoPlay Through The Pain Of Menopause

  1. How is this thing going to be powered? Am I walking around with a 10lb battery strapped to my waist?

    A cursory search shows that peltier devices draw >40Watts of power. Obviously we don’t need as much power as a fridge but I imagine we need a decent amount. Then we need a fan to remove the hot air and we start asking why not just strap a fan to someones shoulder.

    Beyond that this just seems like yet another fitness tracker or am I missing something?

    1. First of, you don’t need to supply all the power it draws, it may be dialled down.

      By what was said (the peltier is placed on the back of the neck) you can imply that the device won’t cool the body to proper temperature. It will probably give a temperature stimulus to that very sensible area, giving a perception of getting colder, and may cool you a bit, seeing that that area might have a high blood flow close to the surface of the skin.

      That being said, you won’t need to walk alongside a powerhouse of sorts, you might just need a power bank of common capacity, like a 10.000Ah one, that you can carry on backpacks or even a pocket (though thats a bit unrealistic) specially if you just expect to have a few heat flashes of an hour or so of duration.

  2. I know a woman (Ha ha at u acting surprised) who is having menopausal symptoms and when she gets a hot flash she describes it as feeling literally on fire, not just overheated, and we tried IR temperature sensor on her during one of these hot flashes and were getting “normal” range readings, in 35.5 to 37 C range. If anything, she got a bit cooler as the flash went on as she would sweat a bit. So since you’d hit at the high end, 37ish from just a bit of brisk walking or minor exercise just short of normally breaking a sweat, it seems unlikely that sensing skin temperature will be an accurate indication of when hot flashes are occurring. Might just wanna have it on a “panic” button. But even then it would seem that spot cooling would not offer much relief. As Kristina mentions, the desire is to jump into a snow drift, so anything short of stepping into a cold shower or other whole body cooling or cooling sensation (Menthol impregnated fabric released by passing a current through it???) does not sound all that effective.

    1. Interesting about the temperature reading.
      I wonder if the sensation of heat is a function of a lowering core temperature – so ambient air “feels” warmer.

      Or a measurement inaccuracy caused by the IR thermometer reading a surface temperature that is subject to evaporation and therefore reads lower. Maybe using an oral or underarm thermometer would give more accurate reading.

      1. Our sense of temperature is more about where the body wants to go rather than where it is right now. Changing either the temperature or the body’s set-point will affect how we feel, and a thermometer will only detect the former.

        That said, there’s a bunch of physiological changes that go along with that sensation – if we feel cold, we shiver and bloodflow to our skin and extremities is reduced to conserve heat, and when we feel hot we sweat and more blood is pumped to the skin to try and radiate it away. So while a single temperature measurement would not give enough information, measuring some of these other factors as well may.

    2. I was just coming here to say the same. The sense of “I’m burning up” doesn’t mean that the body temperature is actually high. And in my experience, hot flashes generated a lot of sweat and misery but little or no heat.

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