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Sensory Shoe Insoles Help Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Dec 2019
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Image: Sensory insoles can monitor developing diabetic foot ulcers (Photo courtesy of Orpyx)
Image: Sensory insoles can monitor developing diabetic foot ulcers (Photo courtesy of Orpyx)
Novel insoles assist management and prevention of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) through advanced foot sensor technology and real-time analytics.

The Orpyx (Calgary, Canada) SI Sensory Insoles with remote patient monitoring are designed to prevent DFUs and other neuropathy-related ulcers in the soles of the feet by monitoring pressure, temperature, and movement, and providing the wearer with real-time audiovisual alerts of pending high-pressure areas that may lead to tissue breakdown. Each set of insoles are custom made and designed to effortlessly capture plantar pressure, temperature, and movement data throughout the day. Magnetic charging USB cables and an instruction manual are included with each pair of insoles.

Through a cloud-based dashboard, healthcare providers can monitor real-world data and identify trends to proactively make treatment decisions in order to keep their patients' feet healthy. In clinical studies, when compared to standard of care, Orpyx SI technology reduced DFU recurrence by up to 86% for people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and a previous DFU. The technology can also be used to access clinical-grade plantar pressure data for health and human performance applications in the fields of sports medicine, therapeutic applications, and footwear design.

“It is our mission to eliminate preventable DFUs; current treatments are not enough. One in four people suffering from diabetes will develop a foot ulcer, and after the ulcer has healed, 40% of those will recur within the first year,” said Breanne Everett, MD, CEO of Orpyx and co-inventor of the insoles. “Once a person develops a DFU, the 5-year mortality rate is almost 50%, higher than leukemia, colon cancer, and breast cancer. In my clinical practice, I saw the physical and emotional toll DFUs had on our patients and their families. If we can prevent DFUs from recurring, we can greatly improve peoples' lives while avoiding costs.”

Diabetes patients often suffer from nerve and circulation problems in the feet, which reduce their perception of pain. The nerve pathways that ensure that weight is automatically transferred from one foot to the other during prolonged standing are disrupted, and as a result, diabetics do not notice that their toes, heels, or the balls of their feet are too heavily loaded. The foot receives no relief, and pressure sores, DFUs, and infections may go unnoticed. Serious cases may even lead to amputation.

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