A critical medical problem that diabetics often encounter is foot ulcers. Over 100,000 people lose feet or legs due to diabetes each year, often because of infected ulcers.
Statistics indicate that 56 percent of diabetic foot ulcers become infected, while 20 percent of those with infected foot wounds require a type of amputation. 80 percent of those diagnosed with diabetes and have foot amputations die within five years.
Siren, a San Francisco-based firm, has produced socks with microsensors woven in, which can detect whether or not someone potentially faces a diabetic foot problem. According to the company, the Siren Diabetic Sock consistently measures foot temperature for signs of inflammation–the precursor to diabetic foot ulcers. Monitoring foot temperature is clinically proven to be the most effective way of pinpointing foot injuries, up to 87 percent more effective in terms of prevention than standard diabetic foot care.
Siren has developed Neurofabric, a textile with microsensors directly embedded within the fabric. The company asserts that the sensors are seamless, and virtually invisible to the user. Neurofabric can be created with standard industrial equipment, making its production cost-efficient and easily scalable.
The CEO of Siren, Ran Ma, states: “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. 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.”
This development is particularly important because current diabetic foot monitoring is essentially a manual measurement: patients that require foot temperature must go to the doctor, and get six spots on each foot manually measured for temperature–a time-consuming and inefficient process.
The company states that it has raised $3.4 million in seed funding from DCM, Khosla Ventures, and Founders Fund.