By Wil Dubois Email this
Craig Arnold knows the statistics on diabetes amputations and post-amputation mortality all too well. His great-grandfather lost both his legs, and then his life, to diabetes. His grandfather had diabetes, too, as do his parents. Arnold doesn’t. But he’s walking in the footsteps of his ancestors.
He also knows that “very little can be done” about diabetes foot care beyond a nightly inspection, which most people with diabetes neglect. “Did you know that 60% of the time Americans don’t follow doctor’s orders?” he asks. Arnold says he thinks proper foot care is a change most people simply can’t adapt to.
But most people do wear their socks.
Thus an idea was born. Arnold isn’t an endocrinologist, or a doctor, or a diabetes educator. He’s the President of the tech company Permara, and he set his company out to build the world’s best diabetic sock. From the ground up.
They hired a leading sock expert (who knew there were sock experts?) to design a high tech sock that specifically addressed the needs of people with diabetes. The final design features a seamless shaped heel and toe; a padded comfy sole; arch support; a breathable mesh top; and a graduated upper which gets progressively larger in diameter toward the top. Yeah. This is no tube sock; it’s anatomically designed to match the shape of the human foot and lower leg. It’s made of a high-tech blend of cotton, nylon, latex, and spandex engineered for foot safety, fit, and comfort. Permara even created a separate version for d-Folk with larger ankles and calves.
But wait. That’s not all. The physical design is only half the technology.
The company licensed antimicrobial technology developed at the University of South Dakota that permanently binds to fabric, turning it into a 99.9% effective antimicrobial bug killer. The technology uses a designer molecule that acts like a magnet to attract chlorine ions and hold them in the fabric. Chlorine, the same stuff used in municipal water supplies, is an awesome killer of unwanted bacteria and fungi that come into contact with the fabric.
It doesn’t get any more high tech than that.
But even more amazing is the fact that, unlike fabrics that are simply treated, like bug-repellant camping shirts, the Permara process is, well, permanent. The attached chlorine will function as an antimicrobial for about five days. Arnold says that if you hate doing laundry, the sock will actually remain odor-free and soft for that time. Then, like a cell phone battery, it can be recharged simply by washing with a choline bleach like Clorox. Re-exposing the fabric to chlorine “refills” the sock and restores its bug-zapping qualities for another five days. And, unlike a cell phone battery, the socks can be recharged indefinitely.
The result: Not Arnold’s great-grandfather’s sock, but a sock that features both architectural and bio-medical technology.
That’s amazing d-Tech. And yes, Arnold’s parents both wear their son’s socks… so to speak.