SurroSense RX concept (via Orpyx)
According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 60% of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes. The amputations are caused by patients losing the sense of feeling in their feet due to nerve degeneration, also known as progressive neuropathy. Dr. Everett and Orpyx are hoping to solve this problem using their sensor laden shoe inserts, The SurroSense RX. The inserts use specific pressure sensors which transmit data to a watch to let users know when too much pressure is applied in a certain area of their foot. The SurroSense RX can help heal the growing number of non-traumatic amputations due to the diabetes epidemic.
Through experience in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Everett noticed that there are no available methods to help neuropathic patients regain a sense of feeling in their feet. Many patients receive advice but fail to heal due to the lack of a sensing capability. As a result, the doctor realized a sensory substitution system can highly benefit patients and may help them to rewire their brains, a technique known as neuroplasticity.
The technology works by using the data transmitted to display a real time pressure map of the bottom area of the foot. The data transmitted is collected through 8 force sensors sampling at a rate of 4Hz. Furthermore, when capillary pressure exceeds the safe value for an extended period of time an alert is sent alerting the user. Overtime, the sensory substitution system will begin to feel natural to the patient and can act as a type of sensory system to keep their feet safe.
In addition, Orpyx is also working on syncing the data transmitted to a smart phone app. They are planning on having such a system available by the end of the year. The applications of the product are not limited to diabetes either. The system could have potential use for athletes and may be possibly integrated to work with other technology including accelerometers, heart monitors, and calorie counters. The SurroSense RX is planned to cost around $900 with $200 replacement insoles that will have to be changed out every 6-18 months.