Students Develop Smart Mat to Help Diabetics Avoid Amputation

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This article originally found at Jackson State University – Mississippi News

Students creating new innovations is always inspiring. We have smart phones, smart watches, smart TV’s, smart lighting, and smart everything else, pretty much. Now, thanks to two students at Jackson State University, we have a smart mat for those with diabetes. It helps diabetics catch the warning signs to help prevent the need for amputations on their lower extremities.

Cehvan Baker and Jann Butler, both computer engineering students at Jackson State University, created a mat that “gauges foot temperature” in order to help determine if there is a problem with blood flow to their extremities. The earlier it’s caught, the less likely they are to have to go through amputation. When there is a change in foot temperature by more than four degrees between testings, then there is a higher likelihood that there is a circulation problem. This information can then be relayed to the treating physician and followed up with them.

The fact that this testing can be done at home makes it even more accessible and, I would venture to say, reliable. Reason being is that they can do this on their own time, at the same time, and in a convenient manner. The more frequently these tests can be administered, the more likely that patients are to catch something early. Currently, these issues are being caught too late because there is little way to measure temperature differences until an ulcer forms. This product, the smart mat, is a way to diagnosis this serious medical concern before the ulcers appear.

The mat and accompanying app were not without problems during the development period, such as the need for waterproof sensors and an app that properly stores the data. However, the creators say that those bugs have been all worked out. In reality, though what product is free from defects when it’s first made? I mean, we hear about car recalls all the time, and these companies have been working on their designs for years.

The smart mat, which is still undergoing refinement and tuning, is said to cost approximately $500 to produce. Although there’s no telling what the actual cost will be to consumers, if this device can prevent amputations, maybe insurance will cover it. That, however, is the future of the device; I’m sure that most diabetics would like to know before it’s too late.

Read more of the original article via Avoiding amputations: JSU CSET seniors engineer a product for diabetics

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