Due to rapid increases in overweight and lack of physical activity, there is an emerging global epidemic of diabetes. About 347 million people worldwide suffer from the disease, and it is projected that the numbers will double by 2030. As the number of people with diabetes increase, so will the burden of diabetic foot disease. Throughout the world, up to 70% of all leg amputations happen to people with diabetes, and somewhere in the world a leg is lost to diabetes every 30 seconds.
The vast majority of foot amputations due to diabetes begin with the formation of ulcers, and diabetic foot ulcers impose a substantial financial burden. It is estimated that care costs per patient with foot ulcers are double compared to those without. In fact, a study found that ulcer care in the US adds between $9-13 billion to the yearly costs associated with diabetes, highlighting the need for prevention technologies.
Studies have shown that skin temperature monitoring reduce the risk of diabetic foot ulceration. The startup Podimetrics has developed a temperature monitoring system, an early warning system to predict and prevent diabetic foot ulcers.
The system consists of a home-based wireless sensor-enabled mat, named the Podimetrics MatTM. The patients step on the mat for 20 seconds every day while the sensors measure the temperature. The collected data from the scan is automatically analyzed with the company’s algorithms to detect patterns that may indicate the presence of a developing ulcer. When pre-ulcers are detected, both the patient and the doctor will be alerted so the necessary intervention can take place.
While other technologies can measure temperature to prevent diabetic foot ulcers, it is the innovative system that connect the patient with their doctor that make Podimetrics unique. The device is made with the patients in mind, improve the relationship between patient and doctor, and give the doctor indications on which patients that needs the most attention and care. The system is a step into the future of a more effective healthcare system.