What is it about?

Diabetic foot wounds are common and costly. Patients suffering from diabetic foot wounds often have a poor quality of life due to limited activity and frequent treatments. By monitoring foot temperature daily, patients can identify inflammation preceding wounds and take preventive action, such as limiting walking for a short period of time, being diligent in daily foot checks, and promptly treating calluses and blisters with the help of a doctor. In the past, patients have had to compare temperatures between the left and right feet to identify inflammation. Unfortunately, many patients who could benefit from foot temperature monitoring only have one foot due to previous foot wounds which resulted in a foot or leg being amputated. Other patients have open wounds on one foot and are being treated with casts and dressings that should be not removed. Even though these patients are at risk for wounds to the other foot and could benefit from foot temperature monitoring, before this study there was no established way for these patients to identify foot inflammation. We developed an approach for identifying inflammation by comparing temperatures at different locations on the same foot and by comparing foot temperature to room temperature. Using this approach, we were able to predict 91% of foot wounds. This new approach makes foot temperature monitoring available to patients who previously couldn't use it and who are at high risk for diabetic foot wounds. Using this approach, more patients may be able to avoid foot wounds, saving money and improving patient lives.

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Why is it important?

Foot temperature monitoring can prevent wounds in patients with diabetes by identifying injured tissue to allow early treatment. Many patients with diabetes are at risk for foot wounds but only have one foot because of previous amputation or ongoing treatment. Previously, foot temperature monitoring needed two feet to compare temperatures. This study presents a new way to monitor a single foot to predict and prevent foot wounds.

Perspectives

“Podimetrics has already advanced the science and practice of preventing diabetic foot ulcers through its innovative research and evidence-based practice. With this latest study, access is improving, step by step, toward comprehensive care for those at greatest risk for limb-threatening wounds. Remote patient monitoring is finally hitting prime time.” - Dr. David Armstrong, a study co-author, Professor of Surgery at the University of Southern California, and founder and co-director of the Southwestern Academic Limb Salvage Alliance. “We’ve made tremendous progress toward achieving our goal of helping to eliminate the worst effects of diabetic foot complications, and now we can have an even greater impact by making sure the patients who need prevention most aren’t left behind." - Dr. Jon Bloom, co-author and Podimetrics co-founder and CEO.

Brian Petersen

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Unilateral remote temperature monitoring to predict future ulceration for the diabetic foot in remission, BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, August 2019, BMJ, DOI: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2019-000696.
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