Current Affairs
Maltese researchers develop sock which assists diabetics to avoid losing parts of their legs

A sock has been developed by Maltese researchers that includes a number of sensors which may assist diabetic persons from being on the verge of having a part of their legs amputated. This was one of the projects identified by the Takeoff Seed Fund of the University, among seven projects which received between them €100,000 for creating innovative ideas of projects that make a difference in people’s lives.

10 per cent of the Maltese population are diabetic – a disease which leads to various complications, especially in legs. Pediatric Stephen Mizzi stated that due to diabetes, some 400 patients lose a part of their fingers or legs each year with serious complications on their quality of life.

In order to avoid such complications, Dr Stephen Mizzi and Dr Owen Falzon are working on a sock which analysis the leg while a diabetic person is being active during the day.

“It has an amount of sensors in the sock which incorporate all the leg; data and information is taken from these sensors to be analysed in real time – at that moment – so that it will alert the individual wearing the sock. Then attached to a mobile, for example, it sends a message and informs him on whether there is the possibility of a wound or problem in his leg before this actually occurs, and also provides him with the necessary recommendations”, Dr Mizzi stated.

This is one of seven teams of entrepreneurs and researchers, who between them received €100,000 during the fifth edition of the Takeoff Seed Fund Awards.

Ideas vary from a toy that facilitates language therapy for children, a new method of installing wind turbines on surface water away from a shore with platform structures, to a site on internet which brings together couples who intend to marry with sellers of wedding products and a brewery for clients who want their personalized beer.

Another initiative involves three university students and their lecturer who are working on an app which offers a different form of private lessons from students to students. Jake Xuereb said that the plan is to launch the app at the beginning of the next academic year in October.

“Imagine being a sixth form student having a test next week in Maths and having problems on how to proceed? I open the app, with a search bar I access sixth form Maths and the number appears of university students profiles with their qualifications, and other persons’ reviews”, Jake Xuereb said.

Economy and Small Enterprises Minister, Chris Cardona, said that there were 39 submissions this year by entrepreneurs who expressed interest in these funds.

University rector, Professor Alfred Vella, said that the Takeoff Seed Fund Award has already assisted a number of new entrepreneurs and researchers to make the necessary leap for their successful initiative.

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