Smart mat can help diabetics prevent amputations

It senses your lower limbs' temperature to predict the possibility of ulceration.

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Mariella Moon
January 22nd, 2016
In this article: medicine, science
Smart mat can help diabetics prevent amputations

A Jackson State University professor challenged his engineering students to develop a technology that solves a problem for their senior project. And one particular group decided to create a smart mat that can help diabetics save their lower limbs from amputation. The mat detects the temperatures of both feet if you step on it, and it beams the results to an Android app.

One of the students, Jann Butler, has an aunt who loss a foot after developing foot ulcers due to the disease years ago. He said the group "uncovered an issue with temperature" during their research: The high glucose levels in a diabetic's blood affects circulation in their lower limbs, making them colder than the rest of their bodies. "If there's a four-degree difference between the two [feet] over a period of time," Butler said, "the lower one would be at greater risk of ulceration."

As you know, diabetics lose feeling in their limbs, so something like this could be used as an easy and straightforward way to detect ulceration early on. It cost the team $500 to develop the mat, so if ever this makes it to market, it'll be around that price range. That might take a while if it ever happens, though, as the team still needs to refine it further and to develop the app for other platforms.

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