|Pressure-sensing socks are paired with smartphones to |
reduce foot ulcers in diabetic patients (Credit:
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage associated with the development of foot ulcers in patients with diabetes. Resulting from anatomical deformation, excessive pressure and poor blood supply, it affects over 130 million individuals worldwide. It is also the leading cause of amputation, costing the United States economy alone more than $10 billion annually.
Diabetic patients are encouraged to get regular checkups to monitor for the increased pressure and ulceration that can eventually require amputation. However, ulcers are only diagnosed after they occur, meaning that patients require healing time, which dramatically increases healthcare costs.
Members of the BioDesign: Medical Innovation program, created by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center, set out to solve this problem and developed SenseGO, a machine-washable sock containing dozens of micro-fabricated pressure sensors.
With SenseGO, changes in pressure due to incorrect posture, anatomical deformation or ill-fitting shoes are registered as electrical signals that are relayed to a smartphone app, which in turn informs the patient of developing risk.
Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, BioDesign program director, said: "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."
Originally posted by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.