The idea for a "smart mat" all started with Jenn Butler's aunt. She has diabetes which led to foot ulcers and an amputation. As a result he convinced fellow Jackson State University student Chevan Baker to pursue the development of a smart mat. Ultimately they came up with a mat that would detect differences in a patient's foot temperature that could be used at home.

The students learned that foot temperature in diabetic patients tend to be cooler due to nerve damage and circulation problems. This led to their understanding that a four-degree difference between feet could put the one with the lower temperature at greater risk for foot ulceration.

The mat is by no means ideal. Since it detects differences between the feet, it could mean that potentials cases could be missed if both feet have poor circulation.

As the research to perfect the mat continues, it could potentially help thousands of people with diabetes avoid amputation. As of 2010 about 73,000 lower-limb amputations were performed in adults aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes (American Diabetes Association)

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, we've been performing Comprehensive Diabetics Foot Exams for over 30 years. These exams not only detect temperature differences they include but are not limited to pressure readings, review of the nerve supply, blood supply, skin and nails.

If you have diabetes it's also important to practice self-care and see a Seattle podiatrist or one convenient to you annually.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

More information on diabetic feet:

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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