Back in March we had a post about products from New Zealand-based company Zephyr Technology that offer an ability to monitor basic vital signs via the company’s proprietary “smart fabrics.”
The latest report from The Engineer is that the company’s Shoepod Diabetic device, thought to be able to detect early signs of diabetic peripheral neuropathy via temperature analysis, is to undergo US trials.
From The Engineer:
About to undergo trials in the US, the Shoepod Diabetic, developed by New Zealand firm Zephyr Technology, integrates smart fabric technology to spot the early warning signs of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN), a disorder caused by diabetes where nerve damage affects sensation in the limbs…
The device weighs around 2oz (less than 50g) and can transmit data wirelessly to a mobile phone or USB radio receiver for download to a PC. Real-time and trend analysis software is integrated into the Shoepod Diabetic, and it can hold up to three months’ worth of data which can then be sent to a specialist for more detailed analysis.
According to Chris Hardaker, Zephyr’s project manager, this surprisingly common condition is one of the leading causes of foot amputation, and the economic and personal costs of dealing with it are high…
Hardaker explained that the foot goes through a series of phases before an ulcer forms: from normal to calloused skin, to inflammation and finally ulceration. The Shoepod Diabetic is, he said, able to detect an ulcer prior to it actually forming using a system that carefully measures and analyses the range of temperatures across the sole of the foot. ‘We’re taking temperature readings in the foot and running a whole load of analyses over those readings.
‘There are ways of watching those temperatures that enable you to see how the foot is being used or misused, and look for the earliest possible sign that you’re heading down the path towards ulceration. We can detect the build-up of potential callous material and then say to the diabetic “you are at a pre-ulcerous state. Now is the time to take some action.”‘