The De-Stressing Vest: It Sure Doesn't Look Like A Medical Device!
No, the de-stressing vest, invented by a quartet of Cornell University students, doesn't look like a medical device, and I bet it doesn't feel like one either. I just have two questions: Where do I have to go to get into the device testing pool? and When?
Students from Cornell University's departments of biology, electric and computer engineering, and design have combined their education and skills to develop an electronic vest that massages the torso, back, chest, and shoulders with piezoelectric cells and tiny motors. They have applied for a patent on the device.
Addressing the health problems that stress contributes to, such as heart disease, obesity, depression, and a compromised immune system, the inventors sought a non-intervention approach - one that co-inventor Marina Gaeta describes as being "...like someone stroking you really lightly, like a mother soothing a kid who just woke up from a nightmare."
The idea actually came from Mary Maida, a molecular neuroscientist whose company, the Medingen Group, supports medical innovations. From the original prototype, a store-bought vest with actuarors and tiny motors attached, the vest evolved with the latest technologies comfortably fitted into layers of fabric that is actually pretty stylish.
A $10,000 Innovation Award from Cornell's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering will be used to advance the vest even further. The piezoelectric cells will be integrated into other products as well.
Human trails to assess the physiological effects of the de-stressing vest will be held this Fall.