This month marks the beginning of a significant new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program to prevent lower limb loss. In 2018, the VA health care system treated more than 75,000 cases of diabetic foot ulcers (DFU). The new program — previously tested in select regions — distributes Podimetric Mats that measure foot temperature for home use. Early DFU detection by monitoring foot temperature can help prevent lower limb loss.

In a 2017 study by the VA with the mats in Los Angeles and Phoenix, 86% of the participants used the foot temperature monitoring mat an average of three days each week. The results of that study found that in-home foot-temperature monitoring detected 97% of DFUs up to five weeks before symptoms appeared. Subsequent programs with the Podimetrics Mat had similar results. With this early detection, VA personnel were able to intervene with preventative clinical care and avoid expensive secondary complications.

Podimetrics’ RTM System consists of a mat and an app that transmits temperature scans to review teams. Patients merely stand on the mat for 20 seconds each day.

Veterans throughout the U.S. will be able to acquire the Podimetrics Mat through local Prevention of Amputations Everywhere clinics. Mats will also be available to use in VA health care clinics in the southeastern U.S., the area of the country with some of the highest incidence of DFUs.