Smart socks help prevent diabetes complications
The SenseGO socks are capable of monitoring changes in pressure which are registered as electrical signals and relayed to a smartphone app that informs the patient of the developing risk. Members of the BioDesign: Medical Innovation program, created by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center, developed the SenseGO socks to measure changes in pressure due to incorrect posture, anatomical deformation or ill-fitting shoes.
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 more than 130 million individuals worldwide. 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 increases healthcare costs.
"This is a significant medical problem that affects the lives of millions. We thought there must be a way to avoid these wounds altogether," says Danny Bavli, the group’s lead engineer.
To address the challenge, Bavli partnered with Sagi Frishman and Dr. David Morgenstern, a leading orthopedic surgeon at Hadassah Medical Center. Together with other members of the Hebrew University BioDesign group, they developed SenseGO, a machine-washable sock containing dozens of micro-fabricated pressure sensors.
Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, BioDesign program director, says: "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."
Other members of the BioDesign SenseGO team included Inbal Boxerman and Yael Hadar, MBA students at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. BioDesign: Medical Innovation is a multi-disciplinary, team-based approach to medical innovation, created by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center.
The innovations produced by the Biodesign program participants are being commercialized by Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Hadasit, the technology transfer company of the Hadassah Medical Center.
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