'Smart' Sock Helps Diabetics Avoid Foot Ulcers

A new "smart" sock could help people avoid the complications that come with diabetic neuropathy.

The SenseGO, developed by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a machine-washable sock that contains micro-fabricated pressure sensors. The sock is able to register changes in electrical signals and relay them to a smartphone, giving patients a warning when they are at risk of foot ulcers or nerve damage.

Diabetic neuropathy is currently the leading cause of amputation in the U.S.

Reducing risks and costs

With SenseGO, the sock can detect changes in pressure that might result from poor posture or periods of inactivity.

"This is a classic mobile health approach," said professor Yaakov Nahmias. "By giving patients and their families the tools they need to prevent the development of ulcers, we can dramatically reduce health care costs related to diabetes."

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, diabetic foot ulcers occur in about 15 percent of patients with diabetes. Six percent of these patients will require hospitalization for complications related to the ulcer.

"This is a significant medical problem that affects the lives of millions," said Danny Bavli, lead engineer of the research project. "We thought there must be a way to avoid these wounds altogether."

A video about SenseGO can be found here.

Source: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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