Masaryk University Spin-Off Developing Stress-Measuring Device

The newly-formed spin-off company of Masaryk University, Entrant s.r.o., can monitor stress levels in an objective and non-invasive way using an innovative thermodynamic method and a special device they are developing. This is especially useful for jobs where performing under stress is key. Among its several partners is, for example, the European Space Agency. In future, the stress-measuring device could help not only pilots, soldiers and astronauts but also those working in the field of emergency medicine.

29 Jan 2021 Ondřej Franek

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We all react to stress differently, various stress-inducing situations affect our bodies in a different way; moreover, there are many definitions attempting to characterize stress. The stress we may feel at work or in tense situations is but a single part of the physiological stress we’re battling every single moment of our lives. We’re under a constant barrage of physical, chemical and biological factors that induce stress. So far, the question of whether someone was coping with stress well was impossible to answer because there was no coherent method that would allow us to measure stress in an objective manner. All stress theories so far arrived at the conclusion that stress factors cannot be accurately determined and stress cannot be quantified because they were often based on measuring indirect physiological variables that are strongly influenced e.g. by physical activity. Thanks to this new approach, a new technology was developed that can measure stress objectively.

The unique idea of a thermodynamic method which could be used to measure the effects of stress on a person in various situations based on the entropy produced by the human body (SEL – Stress Entropic Load) as a general stress indicator was conceived in the laboratories of Julie Dobrovolná’s research team at the Faculties of Science and Medicine at Masaryk University. The SEL equation has many variables. To calculate stress using this method, the team of scientists led by Ms Dobrovolná developed a device which allows them to monitor the organism’s response to stress in any specific situation. This device is basically a set of sensors detecting several values of standard physiological parameters such as oxygen consumed and released, carbon dioxide, humidity, body temperature, etc. The measured adaptation costs then correspond with the body’s stress reaction; This makes it possible to identify which bodily reactions were induced by the adaptation. The stress-measuring device should find many practical applications. It can be used to estimate how long soldiers, firemen, pilots or astronauts can endure under pressure in short-term stress-inducing situations. In healthcare, the device could help in intensive care units to manage patients’ temperature. Reducing or increasing the patient’s body temperature can significantly influence their prognosis.

Because the research team wanted to further develop this innovative technology and put it into practice, the technology was patented first. Subsequently, a new Masaryk University spin-off, Entrant s.r.o., was founded that specializes in developing the stress measuring device and the algorithm behind it. “For the new spin-off to be able to use the university’s intellectual property, a licensing agreement was signed between Entrant and the university that regulates the treatment of the university’s intangible property. The agreement also defines the university’s share of any potential profits,” says the head of the technology transfer division of TTO, Radoslav Trautmann, on account of the transfer of know-how from the university to the Entrant company.

The fact that measuring stress is drawing a lot of attention is proven by the investments the spin-off attracted soon after being established. One of the partners co-developing the new
technology is the European Space Agency who invested in the company just 14 days after its business plan was created. The agency sees great potential in measuring the levels of stress in astronauts under pressure. This is not the first time the scientists are collaborating with a space agency. First measurements were carried out using NASA software. The unique stress-measuring technology found its way also to the ESA BIC Space Incubator programme at the South Moravian Innovation Centre. The programme supports young companies that use space technologies, systems and satellite data or develop technologies for the space industry. The cooperation between the university and the investors was set up with the aid of UNICO.AI – a company that specializes in connecting universities with private companies in a transparent a mutually beneficial way. UNICO.AI helped to establish more than 5 spin-off companies from all over the world and helped them to get over one million Euro for research purposes.  

Entrant s.r.o. was founded in October 2020 as one of Masaryk University’s spinoffs. A Spin-off is a company started in order to utilize and develop university’s intellectual property into the form of a marketable product or service. Spin-offs are mostly small or mediumsized companies that usually collaborate with the originators of theintellectual property they use. These companies can also make arrangements with the university to use its laboratories or other services. In case a company does not have sufficient funding to realize its own investment plan, there is an easy way for investors to join in.


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