Pressure warnings in smart shoe insole sensors reduce foot ulcers
The smartwatch alerts wearers to periods of sustained high foot pressure
The smart insole system tested by the Manchester Metropolitan team is called SurroSense Rx and was developed by sensor-based advanced wound care product manufacturer Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc in Canada.
Shoe inserts were fitted with eight sensors that continually monitored and measured pressure points around the sole of the foot during the wearer’s day to day activities.
When a dangerous amount of pressure was detected, data was fed wirelessly to a companion smartwatch, to encourage the wearer to make adjustments straight away and reduce the pressure on the area of the foot affected.
This might include the patient walking around in order to spread their weight better over both feet, sitting down and removing weight from the affected foot or checking their footwear for foreign objects or excessively tight shoelaces.
Dr Abbott said: “Generally, patients reacted well to wearing the smart insole system, although some were put off by having to use digital technology per se and others by the aesthetics of the system as, in our prototype, the sensor pod is clearly visible on the top surface of the shoe.”
She added: “While these insoles are already on sale to the wider public in USA and Canada, next generation more user-friendly smart insoles are currently being developed and these should improve the wearer’s experience even further.
“Smart insoles certainly may become available on prescription for high-risk people with diabetes in the UK although it will be necessary for much larger clinical trials than ours to be conducted before NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) could consider the economic and healthcare benefits of prescribing smart insoles to diabetics who are likely to develop foot ulcers.
“We can imagine that technologies such as this could be used for the relatively new concept of remote patient monitoring whereby communication technology-based services, in sync with smart insoles, may effectively prevent foot ulcers from occurring in the diabetes community.”
Read the report in The Lancet Digital Health
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