San Francisco-based Siren has unveiled socks with microsensors woven in that can detect whether a person faces a diabetic foot problem. The company is also announcing it has raised $3.4 million in seed funding from DCM, Khosla Ventures, and Founders Fund.
More than 100,000 people lose feet or legs to diabetes each year due to ulcers that become infected. About 56 percent of diabetic foot ulcers become infected, and 20 percent of those with infected foot wounds end up with some type of amputation. And 80 percent of the people with diabetes who have foot amputations pass away within five years.
Siren has developed Neurofabric, a textile with microsensors embedded directly into the fabric. Its sensors are completely seamless and virtually invisible to the user, the company said, and Neurofabric can be made on standard industrial equipment, making its production cost-efficient and easily scalable.
The Siren Diabetic Sock continuously monitors foot temperature so people can detect signs of inflammation, the precursor to diabetic foot ulcers. Monitoring foot temperature is clinically proven to be the most effective way of catching foot injuries, up to 87 percent more effective at preventing diabetic foot ulcers than standard diabetic foot care.
Current solutions for diabetic foot monitoring rely on non-continuous and manual measurement. People who want to monitor foot temperature have to go to the doctor and get six spots on each foot manually measured for temperature, a time-consuming and inefficient process.
“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 of Siren, in a statement. “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 best thing about the socks is that they look and feel like a regular pair of socks.
“The Siren system has become a vital part of my foot care because it helps catch potential problems early,” said Melissa G., who has type 1 diabetes, in a statement. “The socks stay incredibly soft even after washing them, and remain comfortable throughout the day. I love that I can see the temperature of my feet instantly with the app and compare changes from day to day.”
The Siren system includes a variety of patented technologies that enable the standard manufacturing of integrated sensors and simultaneous pairing of multiple devices. The socks are machine washable. Customers who order in the next 30 days can pay $19.95 a month.
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