A Jackson State University student named Jann Butler recently came up with a device that can be used by diabetic patients to predict the possibility of ulceration and save their lower limbs from amputation.
Butler came up with the idea for the mat after witnessing an aunt lose a foot to diabetes. After researching the issue, Butler and his peers noticed that high glucose levels in the blood not only affects circulation in the lower limbs, but it also makes these extremities colder than the rest of the body. As Butler explains, "If there's a four-degree difference between the two [feet] over a period of time, the lower one would be at greater risk of ulceration." This information led the students to develop a temperature-sensitive mat that can detect the possibility of ulceration. Doctors can thus use the mat to identify ulceration early on and save patients from amputation.
While the smart mat is currently just a prototype, the device could help to drastically reduce the number of diabetes-related amputations.