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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

'Smart Socks': Ulcer prevention in diabetics




Foot ulcers affect many of the nearly 26 million people in the US suffering from diabetes. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports someone loses a limb from diabetic complications every 20 seconds. Diabetes causes a loss of sensation, leaving ulcers to go unnoticed and become infected. If not treated soon enough, the limb has to be amputated. But doctors at the University of Arizona Medical Center, in Tucson, Arizona, have development 'Smart Socks' to help prevent ulcers. 'Smart Socks' use fibre optics and sensors to monitor pressures in the patient's feet. They were designed to identify both locations of the foot and ranges of motion that could be problematic. The prototype socks draw their inspiration from video game technology, using aspects of virtual reality to draw medical conclusions.The study is funded by the Qatar National Research Fund , which donated more than $2 million in grants to the University. Researchers expect Smart Socks to be available to the public by 2019.

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