"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

No more hot flashes? AI device could stop menopausal symptoms

Oct. 31, 2023 – Hot flashes have been a hot topic recently.

Vasomotor symptomsthe sudden increase in body temperature, which affects about 75% of patients Menopause Women, have sparked interest following the approval of a brand new oral drug and Research linkage Hot flashes to Alzheimer's, heart disease and stroke.

Now joining the discussion are researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Embr Labs (a by-product of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), who say they've developed a machine learning algorithm that may predict a hot flash.

Their idea is to mix this algorithm with a product called Embr Wave, a watch-like wearable device that may deliver cool (or heat) to the sensitive skin on the within the wrist, providing relief everywhere in the body. The device that's sold for e.g $299is already being touted as a strategy to treat hot flashes during menopause.

But once the algorithm is added, the device will find a way to “continuously monitor physiological signals – skin temperature, body temperature, sweating, activity level or heart rate – and detect early indicators that a hot flash is on the way,” it says Michael SoPhD, director of the Center for Human Health and Performance at UMass Amherst, who led the team that developed the algorithm.

That data could be sent to a computing platform within the cloud, where the algorithm can detect signs of an impending hot flash, Busa said. The device would routinely initiate a cool down in lower than a second, which could effectively stop the new flash or at the very least help temper the spiciness.

Exploring cooling therapy for warm flashes

“There is always a lot of interest in anything that is non-hormonal and effective in treating hot flashes,” he said Karen Adams, MD, OB/GYN and director of the Menopause and Healthy Aging Program at Stanford University. (Adams was not involved in the event of this technology.)

Hormone therapy is the first treatment that relieves hot flashes in 3 to 4 weeks, Adams said. “But some women don’t want to or shouldn’t take estrogen because of medical contraindications.”

Hormone therapy is mostly not really useful for individuals with a history of breast cancer, blood clots, or heart or blood vessel disease. Current research This is the finding of a study presented on the annual meeting of the Menopause Society Hormone therapy may not work as well for women who are obese.

The FDA has approved the oral medication for non-hormonal treatments Fezolinetant (Veozah) in May. Antidepressants may additionally be used as initial treatment in patients who cannot take estrogen. Another oral drug, elinzanetant, is in late-stage clinical trials.

However, there have been few clinical trials – just two small Studiessaid Adams – researching cooling therapy as a treatment for warm flashes. The manufacturers of this device want to vary that.

“Despite the fact that seeking cooling relief is a woman's immediate natural response to the onset of a hot flash, there is limited work to understand the benefits of this natural therapy,” said Matthew Smith, PhD, chief technology officer at Embr Labs. “That’s partly because the technology didn’t exist to deliver cooling instantly and reproducibly.”

The algorithm's performance was compared using data from women with hot flashes, Smith said. The results have been submitted for publication.

Embr Wave has been shown to assist menopausal women with hot flashes sleep better. It has also been tested as a therapy for warm flashes related to cancer treatment.

But to really evaluate the device as a strategy to treat hot flashes, it must be tested in randomized trials including a “sham treatment arm” — where some people get the actual treatment while others get the dummy treatment, Adams said.

“Device trials typically have high placebo response rates, which can only be truly evaluated if a dummy treatment is included in the trial,” she said. “If such a device were proven to be safe and effective, we would definitely recommend it. But we are still a long way from that.”