Engineering 101

Smart sock and app developed to prevent diabetic amputations

Researchers are developing all kinds of sock technology these days. If you remember, just a while back, a team of researchers created a pair of socks that generated energy from urine.

Now researchers are working with socks again. This time they’re targeting patients with diabetes, linking pressure-sensing socks to a smart phone app that warns patients of developing wounds.

The system, called SenseGO comprises a machine-washable sock that contains dozens of micro-fabricated pressure sensors, was developed by researchers from BioDesign: Medical Innovation program, created by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Students paired pressure-sensing socks with smartphones to reduce foot ulcers in diabetic patients. (Image Credit: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Students paired pressure-sensing socks with smartphones to reduce foot ulcers in diabetic patients.
(Image Credit: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

The team set out to develop the socks in response to, diabetic neuropathy a type of nerve damage associated with the development of foot ulcers in patients with diabetes, which affect over 130 million people worldwide. It is also the leading cause of amputation.

“This is a significant medical problem that affects the lives of millions. We thought there must be a way to avoid these wounds altogether,” said Danny Bavli, the group’s lead engineer.

SenseGO uses electrical signals to monitor changes in pressure due to incorrect posture, anatomical deformation or ill-fitting shoes, and then relays them to a smartphone app that informs the patient of his or her risk.

(Photo: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
(Photo: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

“This is a classic mobile health approach. 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,” said Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, BioDesign program director.

For more information, watch the video below.

 

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