February 2, 2016

Pressure-Sensing Socks May Prevent Diabetes-Related Amputations

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The SenseGo phone app. Image courtesy of Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Members of the BioDesign: Medical Innovation program, created by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, have linked pressure-sensing socks to a smart phone application that warns patients of developing risk of foot ulcers.

The team developed SenseGO, a machine-washable sock containing dozens of microfabricated pressure sensors. With the device, 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.

“This is a classic mobile health approach,” said Yaakov Nahmias, PhD, BioDesign program director. “By giving patients and their families the tools they need to prevent the development of ulcers, we can dramatically reduce healthcare costs related to diabetes.”

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