Podimetrics System Helps Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Interview
Podimetrics is a company that has developed a special foot temperature monitoring pad that can keep track of a diabetic’s feet to help detect the onset of foot ulcers. The Podimetrics Mat and the rest of the company’s Remote Temperature Monitoring System allow clinicians to receive high resolution temperature scans of the soles of their patients’ feet while giving patients the convenience of doing daily tests in the convenience of the home. We spoke with Dr. Jon Bloom, CEO and Co-Founder of Podimetrics about the company’s technology and how it can help manage diabetic feet and reduce the incidence of ulcers.
Medgadget: Please tell us about the technology behind the Podimetrics Remote Temperature Monitoring System and how it’s different from competing products.
Jon Bloom, Podimetrics: There have been other companies (years ago) that tried to apply thermometry to diabetic foot ulcers (DFU), but they weren’t successful because of adherence issues. This is because the patient was required to take several measurements and evaluate them on his/her own. The Podimetrics Remote Temperature Monitoring System™ solves that problem by making the process easy for the patient and healthcare provider. It consists of a wireless SmartMat™ for the home and a monitoring service that notifies patients and clinicians when signs of inflammation may be developing.
To use the system, a patient stands on the mat for 20 seconds per day at home. Patient data is sent instantly to the cloud, where the Podimetrics system is used to measure the temperature difference between the feet at various locations looking for a possible persistent asymmetry, or “hotspot.” It has been well established that these hotspots strongly correlate with the eventual development of a foot ulcer. If a developing hotspot is detected, the healthcare provider is notified based on their custom protocol. From there an intervention is planned by the physician. Most interventions require a patient to stay off his/her feet while the foot heals itself. If the readout is persistent or more concerning, the patient may visit their doctor to take more aggressive preventative steps.
Medgadget: How did Podimetrics get started and what was the initial “spark” that led to a finished product?
Bloom: The Company was originally formed by five strangers at the very first MIT Hacking Medicine event in October of 2011. Our first focus, which remains today, was to attempt to solve the problem of DFU through prevention as opposed to improved treatment. We explored multiple technologies and form factors for a monitor, attempting to optimize usability for both the patient user and the health care provider. This included pressure-based sensors, sock and shoe form factors, office-based equipment, and multiple others. After extensive testing and multiple prototypes, user feedback was always strongest for a smart mat for daily home use. This, then, …read more
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