According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 30 million people in the United States (> 9%) have been diagnosed with diabetes. Globally, over 422 million people suffer from diabetes, according to the World Health Organization. In many countries, including the USA, diabetes is considered an emergency of epidemic proportions with diabetic foot complications being one of the most painful effects. In the world every 20 seconds, a lower limb is lost due to diabetes with the total worldwide cost of diabetic limb complications estimated to be $48B. In the US, direct costs associated with these complications exceed the cost of each of the five most expensive cancers. About 25% of people with diabetes will experience a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) in their lifetime with diabetes being the leading cause of lower-limb amputations.
Given the extent of and severity of DFU problems, many researchers have been addressing the situation and developed temperature sensing socks for users and clinicians to monitor the patient’s status and provide guidance. Sensoria Health and its partners have taken a different sensing approach using pressure as the sensing technology.
A diabetic foot ulcer boot with a web-connected pressure sensing insole can ensure proper mechanical offloading to diabetic patients. Measuring a significant pressure difference at a specific point, the insole with its sensors informs the patient and care giver of activity for offloading weight and providing stabilization. Customizable to offload the pressure from the ulcer, the insole has removable independent hexagonal sections and adjusts and reacts to forces under the plantar surface of the foot. Together with the Diabetic Foot Ulcer Boot App, the system coaches patients on their compliance to proposed treatment.
Called the world’s first smart diabetic footwear, the boot’s feedback to patients and verification to clinician about compliance and usage patterns can provide healing for diabetic foot ulcers and reduce the risk of recurrence.