A digital health company is aiming to reduce the number of diabetic foot complications and amputations by developing a wearable “smart sock.”
The sock, developed by the California-based Siren, is a combination diabetic detection and monitoring system. The key feature is that the sock can continuously track foot temperature. Changes in foot temperature helps to detect signs of inflammation, which is a precursor to diabetic foot ulcers. These ulcers lead to more than 100,000 foot and leg amputations each year in the United States, so by catching them and preventing them in their infancy, the sock may be able to save thousands of limbs each year.
Smart Diabetic Socks
The socks are designed out of Neurofabric, a wearable cloth with embedded microsensors. The company says that the sensors are virtually undetectable to the user, and they can be washed just like a normal sock. In addition to the smart socks, the company also has a mobile app for users that will allow them to track and monitor their data in real time.
According to the statistics, more than half of all diabetic foot ulcers become infected, and 20 percent of these infections lead to some form of lower extremity amputation. Moreover, nearly half of all diabetics who undergo a foot or leg amputation die within five years of losing the limb, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“We built this technology because foot ulcers are the most common, costly, and deadly complication for people with diabetes, yet there was no way to continuously monitor for these massive problems,” said Ran Ma, CEO and co-founder of Siren. “Our Neurofabric has endless applications across healthcare, sports, military, and fashion, but 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.”
Currently, Siren is offering the smart socks as part of a monthly subscription service. For $19.95, a patient would get a pair of socks and a new pair every six months afterwards, access to the mobile tracking app and the ability to connect with a live customer service representative. Learn more about the socks on their website.