hentoTouch is developing a tool to help people cope with alcoholism. By stimulating the skin, their discreet wearable device affects addiction circuits in the brain. This could reduce cravings, helping people stay sober. In the long run, the device could also help with gambling problems and stress management.
hentoTouch device could consist of a large number of active elements that stimulate the skin on a wide area.





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hentoTouch is developing a wearable, non-invasive device that activates the neural fibers that encode gentle and pleasant social touch on the surface of the skin. The hypothesis is that this kind of neural activation could be beneficial in prevention of relapses in alcohol use disorders (AUD), aka alcoholism.
hentoTouch is now pilot testing this with patients. If this hypothesis turns out to be correct, their future customers would be the 280 million global AUD patients and their employers. At the moment, approximately 90 % of these patients do not receive any treatment.

hentoTouch knows that the neural activation that their device is aimed at doing, has a huge effect on physiological modulation of stress. So, in addition to AUD treatment, the device could be used as a stress management tool for healthy people.

AUD is a massive global health threat. According to WHO it kills 3 million people every year. On top of the health burden, it causes devastating social and economic consequences. In Finland, the annual cost of alcohol misuse to workplaces is at least 500 million euros.

With the current treatments, up to 85 % of the patients who manage to quit drinking will eventually start drinking again. This is where hentoTouch can hopefully help by preventing substance craving and relapses. At the moment, the AUD treatment market is tiny compared to the size of the problem and it definitely has room for new solutions, as there have not been any for decades.


Jukka Planman

Timo Rossi

Spinoff Portfolio Manager

A skin-stroking device could help curb alcohol cravings

Aalto University researchers are developing a device that helps support sobriety in conjunction with other treatments, such as psychosocial treatments and pharmaceuticals.

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A device attachable to the forearm is one of the possibilities the hentoTouch team is currently exploring. Photo: Juliana Harkki.

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