Intelligent Footwear System Embedded with Fabric Pressure Sensor
Daily foot conditions, especially spatial and temporal plantar pressure distributions, are useful data for monitoring diabetic patients from developing peripheral neuropathy and foot ulcerations. Based on arrays of fabric sensors, the intelligent footwear system is able to measure, display and record data of foot conditions during daily activities in smartphone or PC. The data includes spatial and temporal plantar pressure distributions, in-shoe temperature and humidity, centre of pressure (COP), 3-axis accelerations and pressure time integral. The system has demonstrated satisfactory accuracy, repeatability and wearing comfort.
It was evaluated in clinical trials which the trial subjects included healthy people and patients who have already had or have a tendency to develop the diabetic foot syndrome. The evaluation results accord with clinical observations.
The intelligent footwear system helps diabetic patients avoid foot damage and improve quality of life by warning them the extremely high plantar pressure, and pressure time integral that exceeds the normal threshold. It is important for high risk patients, who have one side ulcer or ulcer history, and another foot without ulcer, to monitor and protect the normal side of foot. It can also assist doctors to evaluate effects of surgical procedures and treatments on diabetic patients. Furthermore, it can be applied to areas like entertainment, sports training, man-machine interaction and rehabilitation.
Specification and standardisation of intelligent footwear system for mass production in commercialisation process have been established. It displays to the clothing and footwear industry a window into non-traditional new applications and market, such as wearable electronics and medical textiles. It adds substantial values to traditional textile and electronic products.
A non-exclusive licence covers:
- The knowhow to fabricate an intelligent footwear system including a pair of shoes, a mobile computing device, a Bluetooth based wireless transmission module, a Li-ion battery and a three-axis acceleration sensor
- A user guide of the intelligent footwear system
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