Pressure Sensing Insoles for Diabetic Patients
Pressure mapping
Innovation
Data and analytics

Pressure Sensing Insoles for Diabetic Patients

May 10, 2024
Lower ulcer risks, decrease the number of infections and prevent amputations with smart pressure-sensing insoles.

The healthcare sector faces a myriad of challenges in 2024. An ageing population, persistent workforce shortage, and escalating costs are leading many to consider whether technology may hold the key to addressing how the medical sector will need to evolve for the future. 

Pressure mapping technology has historically only been available in limited applications because of the expense and limitations of the available hardware. Medical devices need to be accurate, reliable and durable, and sealed from water and dust so they don’t pose an infection risk. They need to be comfortable, easy to use, and adjust to a patient’s body and movements. 

When this is done well, pressure mapping can be incredibly useful in a medical setting, allowing clinicians to develop a deeper understanding of a patient’s condition and optimise their care. The increasing prevalence of chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s paralysis, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, alongside a need to invest in preventative treatments, is expected to drive the demand for such systems. 

TG0 believes that incorporating this technology could be as easy as converting everyday objects already being used within a medical setting into accurate pressure and force sensors. Healthcare workers will be empowered to provide better care, patients will be able to look after their own conditions, with the support of remote monitoring, and the overall pressure currently being felt in the system can be significantly reduced. 

Here’s how:   

Smart insoles 

One of the challenges for those working with diabetic patients is helping them monitor the health of their feet. Those with diabetes are at particular risk of developing foot ulcers because of a loss of feeling associated with the condition. It’s estimated one in every four diabetics will get a painful foot ulcer in their lifetime. If these aren’t treated, they can lead to lower limb amputation – approximately 20% of moderate or severe diabetic foot infections will result in amputation. 

Insoles with pressure mapping technology provide early warning to doctors and their patients about the likelihood of an ulcer forming, minimising the likelihood of a much more serious intervention occuring at a later stage. One recent study led by Manchester Metropolitan University found the use of smart insoles reduced the recurrence of foot ulcers in patients by 71% over 18 months. Users were able to adjust their behaviour or stance to prevent ulcers as soon as they received an alert – that might include simple things like taking a short walk, sitting down, or checking footwear for excessively tight shoelaces.