ADOPTED PROJECT: Happier Feet
Disrupting the vicious cycle of healthcare decline in Diabetic Foot Ulceration through active prevention: The future of self-managed care
Chief Investigator: Dr Andrew Weightman – University of Manchester
Project Team Members: Dr Katherine Bradbury – University of Southampton, Professor Helen Dawes – University of Exeter, Mr Andrew Eccles – University of Strathclyde, Dr Safak Dogan – Loughborough University, Dr Glen Cooper – University of Manchester, Professor Frank Bowling – University of Manchester, Dr Xiyu Shi, Loughborough University, Professor Ahmeet Kondoz– Loughborough University
Organisations Involved: Diabetes UK
There is a significant unmet clinical need for an adaptable, acceptable and adoptable technology to identify and prevent diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) formation, to enable self-management and timely clinical intervention to improve outcomes and reduce the economic burden of healthcare provision.
Our primary purpose is to develop and implement an adaptable, acceptable, and cost- effective smart sensing insole technology which can detect when a DFU is likely to occur and can adapt plantar tissue loading to prevent formation, thus enabling self-management.
This project proposes to build and expand on current smart insole technologies for the detection of DFUs, utilising a sensor fusion approach for their identification.
A smart insole with integrated pressure (normal, shear), temperature, gait (IMU) and mechanomyography (acoustic) sensors will identify early indicators of ulceration and when movement is appropriate/inappropriate. The smart insole will respond to these inputs and adjust the foot (and gait), through an array of artificial muscles, to support better (safe/ comfortable) movement. This project aims to co-develop this new smart sensing insole with people living with diabetic foot ulcers.
We hope to establish:
• What patients think of the idea of a smart sensing insole for early detection of DFUs which includes the provision to adjust the foot to reduce pressure on areas of likely ulceration.
• A prototype insole and optimised this with patient feedback.
• Early safety testing of this device.
• Security protocols to enable secure storage and sharing of data from this insole (e.g., between patient and clinicians).