November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, so what better time to spread the word on “smart socks” that can help keep you healthy? For people with diabetes, foot care is crucial. People with the condition often lack sensitivity in their feet, so they may not know when foot ulcers — a common symptom of diabetes — are forming. Now, thanks to a team of biomedical engineers in San Francisco, CA, those with diabetes can now monitor their risk for foot ulcers with the new Siren Diabetic Sock Foot Monitoring System.
The system includes five pairs of the “smart socks” — made from Neurofabric, a soft, washable material — with nearly-invisible built-in sensors that monitor the warning signs of diabetic foot ulcers. The socks are wirelessly linked to the Siren app, a Smartphone app that lets users know if or when they are at risk for the ulcers — which, when left untreated, could potentially lead to more serious health complications down the road; more than 100,000 people with diabetes lose feet or legs to diabetes each year due to ulcers that become infected.
The socks were developed by Ran Ma, who studied biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University and comes from a long line of doctors in her family. Because she grew up with parents who work primarily with patients who have late-stage diseases and ailments, her hope was to develop a technology that is preventative, specifically for the issues associated with chronic disease and aging.
“it was obvious to us that solving this specific problem is where we had to start, because it impacts so many and can mean the difference between losing a limb or not,” said Ma in a press release.
(Photo Credit: Siren)
Siren’s system works by tracking changes in temperature in six different areas of the foot. According to the company, rises in foot temperature are the most reliable indicator of the onset of foot ulcers, as higher temperatures indicate inflammation. The comfortable, moisture-wicking socks monitor temperature on the foot consistently, and then the data is sent to the easy-to-read app which gives users a notification if an injury is found. Don’t have a Smartphone or feel like using the app? No worries: Users can instead choose to receive notifications via email or by home phone.
The socks are machine washable and are available for pre-order with a subscription that can be canceled at any time. If you or a loved one is interested in giving them a try, now’s the time: Siren is offering a 30-day money back guarantee. They’re priced at $19.99 a month, and a new box is mailed to users every six months (you are only charged when new socks are shipped).
For more information on Siren’s smart socks, check out the video below: