Tech company’s solution helping diabetics monitor foot health ‘fits like a sock’
GritoBlast! — No two ailments go hand-in-hand like obesity and diabetes. And no demographic has become synonymous with both afflictions as much as Latinos. According to the report “The State of Obesity,” obesity rates are the highest among Latino children.
- 21.4 percent of Latina females and 22.4 percent of Latino males are obese
- Among preschoolers (ages 2 to 5), Latinos are three times as likely (15.6 percent) and Blacks are twice as likely (10.4 percent) to be obese as Whites (5.2 percent) and Asians (5.0 percent).
The adultos don’t fare much better:
- Obesity rates are higher among Blacks (48.4 percent) and Latinos (42.6 percent) than among Whites (36.4 percent) and Asian Americans (12.6 percent).
- The inequities are highest among women: Blacks have a rate of 57.2 percent, Latinos of 46.9 percent, Whites of 38.2 percent and Asians of 12.4 percent. For men, Latinos have a rate of 37.9 percent, Blacks of 38.0 percent and Whites of 34.7 percent.
However, when it comes to diabetes, Latinos are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease compared to non-Hispanic whites, according to the Office of Minority Health. Yet, surprisingly, Latino adults lag behind their white peers in getting their feet examined by their doctors (65.3% vs. 69.4%).
A simple foot ulcer can escalate quickly in diabetics and before they know it, the foot needs to be amputated. Unfortunately, 25.4% of Latinos need a foot or leg amputated compared to only 12.5 percent non-Hispanic whites.
But a new tech company has invented a simple way for any diabetic to check their own feet and know when it’s time to see the doctor. It’s as simple as wearing a sock.
The Siren Smart Sock looks like any other sock but it does a lot more than keep feet warm. Embedded with six tiny temperature sensors, the sensors detect a change in temperature on the sole of the foot. Since inflammations on the foot cause an increase in temperature, the sensors are able to detect the temperature change. Via an app to a smartphone, the sock alerts the wearer of trouble bubbling and to see the doctor before extreme measures have to be taken.
The socks’ sensors last 6 months and each package contains seven socks — one for each day of the week. The socks can be laundered like other socks. At the end of 6 months, a new supply is shipped out to ensure batteries are fresh and there’s no disruption in monitoring the feet. The batteries are only activated when the socks are worn.
Now, if you’re thinking this sounds great but pricey, you are half right. The socks provide a peace of mind and healthy vigilance that too many Latino diabetics don’t have or do. Because the creators of the sock, Siren Care, don’t want cost to be a factor in who can and who can’t afford the Siren Smart Sock, they have created a monthly payment plan for those who can’t afford the full price up front.
The 6-month supply of socks can be pre-ordered now for $120 but are expected to retail for $180. The monthly payment option is $20/month now and will be $30/month in the future.
The socks are currently in production and are expected to be shipped in the Spring of 2017.