A new digital health company wants to has a new wearable technology that could knock the socks off of patients with diabetes.
San Francisco, CA-based Siren launched a diabetic sock and monitoring system designed to proactively and continuously track foot temperature, helping patients detect signs of inflammation, the precursor to diabetic foot ulcers, a condition that leads to more than 100,000 foot and leg amputations each year in the United States.
The socks are made of Neurofabric, a textile wearable with embedded microsensors. According to the company, the sensors are virtually undetectable to the user. The socks have the same look and feel of a normal sock, are machine washable, and contain moisture-wicking fabric to remove moisture from the foot. The company also has a companion smartphone app to compile data.
Monitoring foot temperature has been clinically proven to be the most effective way to prevent diabetic foot ulcers, but for years foot monitoring methods have relied on non-continuous manual measurements. This usually requires patients to go to a physician to get six spots on each foot manually measured for temperature. The process is not only laborious and time-consuming, it’s also proven to be insufficient when it comes to preventing diabetic foot ulcers, a condition that can often lead to serious complications.
Roughly 56% of diabetic foot ulcers become infected, and 20% of these infections lead to some form of lower extremity amputation. Almost 50% of diabetic patients who undergo foot or leg amputations die within five years of losing their 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.”
The company is selling the technology as a monthly subscription service to patients for $19.95 a month, which includes a new package of socks every six months, access to the mobile app, and live customer service.