There are a ton of cool wearables out there, but this one is going to blow your socks off (or on?). Aside from that, this might just make your life a lot easier if you’re diabetic. The handy hosieries in question are Siren Care’s new Siren Smart Socks; wearables that watch for foot inflammation among diabetics. Through a connected app, the socks are capable of notifying users when an inflammation is about to develop, so they know to take precautionary measures.
Inflammations are a serious biological response among those who have diabetes, since they often lead to wounds and ulcers. That may even mean having to undergo surgery over what started off as a minor swelling. Those researching the phenomena found that inflammations are often preceded by an increase in temperature in the affected areas. The next logical step was to find a way to monitor variations in body temperature. One method of monitoring is manually using infrared skin thermometers at regular intervals. Siren Care’s Smart Socks simplify things by putting the entire process of monitoring and detecting inflammations on auto-pilot.
Since temperature is the variable that needs to be tracked, the socks are embedded with sensors that watch for temperature variations in six different spots on the feet. To avoid false alarms, the unaffected foot serves as a control. Every time a change in temperature is detected on one foot, the temperature of the same spot on the other foot is checked. If there’s a significant difference between the two, an alert is raised.
The alert reaches users in the form of a notification sent via Bluetooth (BLE) to the accompanying smartphone app, which works on Android and Apple devices. The app lets users know that the potential for developing inflammation exists, along with the exact region of the foot that is displaying symptoms. Patients can then carry out a visual check themselves or visit a doctor to avoid further complications.
Each shipment comes with seven pairs of Siren’s smart socks. The makers expect the set to last about six months at a time; that’s how long standard diabetic socks generally last before showing signs of wear. The sensors are powered by coin-cell batteries which are automatically disengaged when the socks are taken off. This is one wearable you won’t have to worry about charging, since the batteries are expected to last the six months that each batch is in use. The socks are machine washable.
The retail price for a box of seven pairs of Siren Smart socks is $180. They can be purchased at a pre-order price of $120 on the company’s website.
Prateek Jose is a writer and engineering undergrad from India with an unhealthy obsession for obscure historical trivia. Conversations about absurdist fiction and the technological singularity make his day. He’s already uploading parts of his brain to servers by writing for websites such as this one.
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