Smart earrings help control perimenopause symptoms

Smart earrings help predict hot flashes for healthcare workers
Smart earrings can help you control perimenopause symptoms and predict hot flashes for healthcare workers.

Senss earrings can help you control perimenopause symptoms such as hot flashes and heart palpitations, but also angst and stress.

SERIES: This is the second article in a series about the digital jewellery prototypes presented at the KEA Meaningful Menopause Jewellery exhibition in 2024. If produced, these wearables can help women experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms.

The Senss earrings can help you control perimenopause symptoms. They measure your physiological state and help you predict when menopause symptoms might flare up. The earrings are designed in honour of all the dedicated women working in the healthcare sector, whether they are experiencing menopause symptoms or are struggling with angst or stress.

Due to high hygiene demands, women in the healthcare sector are not allowed to wear rings, bracelets, or necklaces. That leaves earrings as a way to express yourself while at work, whether wearing a lab coat or scrubs. This means that healthcare workers cannot necessarily benefit from traditional wearables such as watches or rings like the Clarity ring.

A hommage to healthcare workers

The design group’s motivation to design earrings for women in the healthcare sector is both personal and value-based.

“My mother is a nurse”, says Sofia Bülow Nielsen, one of the five designers behind the Senss earrings. “She missed expressing herself with jewellery in a hygienic way. She has lots of earrings because that is  the only kind of jewellery she is allowed to wear at work due to the strict hygiene rules at hospitals.”

The sterling silver Senss smart earrings are designed by five students at KEA - Copenhagen Business Academy.
The sterling silver Senss smart earrings are designed by five students at KEA – Copenhagen Business Academy.

The other designers are Emilie Edal Nielsen, Rikke Dahl-Nielsen, Lola Von Lindholm, and Camilla Eline Jakobsen. The five designers behind Senss think that nurses are generally underpaid and stressed.

“We asked ourselves what we can do to take better care of the nurses who take care of us as a society and to take care of our caretakers”, explains Rikke Dahl-Nielsen to TechTruster.

Therefore, they wanted to design a meaningful menopause piece of jewellery that mainly targeted nurses to acknowledge their dedication and hard work. Senss earrings thus both celebrate and help the dedicated and hard-working women in the healthcare sector by giving them a beautiful tool to alleviate perimenopause symptoms and even angst or stress.

How Senss measures perimenopause symptoms

The earrings determine your well-being by proactively measuring your galvanic skin response (GSR). It measures the skin’s electrical changes in the skin caused by sweat gland activity and can detect a change in the nervous system. These changes indicate an impending episode.

The method as such is not new. In fact, GSR has been used in psychological research for over a century. This non-invasive method has proven useful in understanding the mechanisms behind emotional responses, assessing psychological states, monitoring bodily fluctuations, and providing early insights into discomfort triggers like hot flashes and heart palpitations.

Moreover, biofeedback therapy often uses GSR.

Senss uses gentle vibrations as breathing guide

When the GSR senses that you are experiencing a physiological change, such as those preceding a hot flash or heart palpitations, the earrings emit a subtle vibration. The earrings gently vibrate in a repetitive pattern, mimicking a heartbeat, to let you know that a hot flash or increased heart palpitation is imminent.

You can then choose to activate the earrings’ haptic motor with a single touch on one of the earrings. A gentle vibration begins in the pattern of box breathing, a technique of four counts to help you breathe in for four, hold for four, breathe out for four, and hold for four. This has been proven to help manage and lessen the effects of hot flashes and other perimenopausal symptoms.

Senss earrings help predict hot flashes using GSR and haptic feedback.
Senss earrings help predict hot flashes using GSR and haptic feedback and thus help you control perimenopause symptoms.

This deep breathing and slow exhaling technique can help you slow down your breathing and thus calm you down. It works by focusing your mind and calming your nervous system so you can gain control over body fluctuations. Senss and box breathing can also help against angst and stress.

If you’re in a situation where you can’t activate the box breathing guide, you can ignore the initial signal.

Throughout the day, the earrings monitor your physiological responses. This constant feedback enables you to manage your symptoms and gives insight into possible patterns of what triggers the signal.

Empowering women through perimenopause

In designing these earrings, the students investigated the Designing for Meaningfulness methodology. They concluded that “our earrings foster meaningfulness and empowerment by encouraging and helping women to take control of their journey through menopause with confidence and responsibility.” They highlight that you can enhance self-awareness and quality of life by becoming more aware of your bodily cues.

Senss prototype displayed at the KEA exhibit
If going into production, the sterling silver Senss smart earrings can help you control perimenopause symptoms.

The elegant and discrete sterling silver earrings are still in a prototype stage. If they go into production, they have the potential to alleviate perimenopause and menopause symptoms, angst, or stress. In the meantime, you can find articles about other pieces of smart jewellery and menopause here on TechTruster.