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24 Jan 2022 - 27 Jan 2022

Intelligent Socks Help Reduce Diabetic Foot Ulcers

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 15 Feb 2016
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Image: Concept design of the pressure-sensing socks (Photo courtesy of HUJI).
Image: Concept design of the pressure-sensing socks (Photo courtesy of HUJI).
Innovative pressure-sensing socks linked to a smart phone application help warn diabetics of impending wounds.

Under development by BioDesign researchers at the Hebrew University (HUJI; Jerusalem, Israel) and Hadassah Medical Center (Jerusalem, Israel), SenseGO socks were developed to warn patients of incorrect posture that can lead to excessive pressure on sensitive parts of the foot. Failure to treat these issues in a timely fashion could eventually lead to foot ulcers, sores, or wounds that refuse to heal, a special problem for diabetics, whose ability to heal themselves is already compromised because of their blood circulation problems.

The socks contain dozens of micro-fabricated pressure sensors that measure changes in pressure due to an incorrect stance, anatomical deformation, or ill-fitting shoes. The pressure readings are registered as electrical signals that are relayed to a smartphone app, which in turn informs the patient of a developing risk and that they need to improve their posture. The socks, which are machine-washable thanks to novel materials technology, could help temper the effects of diabetic neuropathy by offering a “sensor assist” to the feet.

“With the SenseGo, patients and their families get the tools they need to prevent the development of foot ulcers. Thus we can dramatically reduce health care costs related to diabetes,” said Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, PhD, director of the HUJI BioDesign center for bioengineering. “The novelty of our technology is the 3D organization of the sensors, which is important for clinical problems where the foot deforms over time. This is a classic mobile health approach to reduce health costs.”

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 USD 10 billion annually.

Related Links:
Hebrew University Jerusalem

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