The latest CDC diabetes report found nearly 10% of the U.S. population — more than 30 million people — have diabetes and another 84 million have prediabetes. From 10% to 15% of the people who have diabetes will have a foot ulcer during their lives. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) can lead to lower-limb amputation, especially when accompanied by diabetic neuropathy that prevents patients from feeling pain. As a result, ulcer treatment may not start soon enough to avoid amputation. The conventional method of detecting foot ulcers is to compare temperatures between a patient’s two feet. Unfortunately, 50% of diabetic patients have a lower-limb amputation, which makes the two-foot temperature comparison impossible. These patients often have a second amputation within five years, almost all of which are due to diabetic foot ulcers.

Podimetrics, a care management company in Somerville, Massachusetts, recently published the results of a study in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care that showed showed a system that can predict DFU with single foot temperature monitoring. The study employed the Podimetrics Mat, a wireless, in-home monitoring device that collects data from foot temperature scans. Patients stand on the mat for 20 seconds each day. The device then transmits the data to Podimetrics for analysis and review.

In the demonstration study, researchers analyzed temperature readings of multiple locations on a single foot from 129 patients using four predictive monitoring settings. Using temperature data collected and transmitted via the Podimetrics Mat, the analysis predicted impending DFUs an average of 41 days before clinical symptoms appeared.

According to the company-sponsored study, Podimetrics’ Remote Temperature Monitoring system using Podimetrics Mat showed the potential to help many diabetic patients and reduce the incidence of lower-limb amputations.