Hebrew University students are working on addressing diabetic foot ulcers with pressure-sensing socks connected to a smart phone application that warns diabetics of developing wounds.
Diabetic neuropathy is a painful condition many diabetics experience, where nerve damage can be associated with the development of foot ulcers. The ulcers can be bad enough to require foot 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 lead engineer with BioDesign: Medical Innovation in a press release, an output of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Bavli and his colleagues, Sagi Frishman and Dr. David Morgenstern, developed SenseGO, a machine-washable sock containing dozens of micro-fabricated pressure sensors, to address diabetic foot ulcers.
The socks sense changes in pressure due to bad posture, bad-fitting shoes or anatomical deformations and send data to a smartphone app, which tells the socks’ wearer when they have too much pressure.
“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.
SenseGO provides both patients and their physicians with the information they need to “minimize or even eliminate the occurrence of diabetic ulcers,” said Danny Bavli of the Grass Center for Bioengineering in the following video that explains the new technology.