Scientists have created a new pressure monitoring stocking that can let the wearer know when to change positions, take rest, or keep on walking.
The stocking has 40 elastic sensors made of silicone film with flexible electrodes making the electric connection.
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research in Würzburg and Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Erlangen, Germany, explain that the sensors combine their data to create a map of the pressure forces applied to the feet.
There have been smart shoe soles that measure pressure on the bottom of the foot, but the new device covers a significantly greater area, including the ankle and top of the foot.
The control unit is still a little bulky and is attached to the stocking, but the researchers are working on miniaturizing it. They're also planning to examine whether the stocking can take a washing, since unlike most other electronic devices this one will get stinky.
A loss of feeling in the feet can have grave consequences, especially with people with diabetic neuropathy. They literally don't know when it's time to take the load off their feet. This often leads to serious wounds that can develop to gangrene and amputations.