FeetWell had the goal of developing an innovative diagnostic and eHealth monitoring system for diabetic foot complications.
In 2014, diabetes afflicted 422 million adults worldwide, and the escalating trend towards sedentary lifestyles was anticipated to amplify the prevalence of this disease. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) stood as one of the most frequent complications of diabetes, accounting for a majority of hospitalizations among diabetic patients and directly causing 50% of all non-traumatic amputations. This carried a hefty healthcare cost burden: care for patients with a foot ulcer was 5.4 times higher compared to diabetic patients without such complications. Across the EU, the care for ulcer complications added 7- 10 € billion to direct yearly costs. Early diagnosis held the potential to significantly reduce the impact of DFUs.
However, this was not straightforward as existing methods for DFU diagnosis depended solely on foot inspection by doctors and dated microbiological techniques. Consequently, there was a pressing need for technologies that facilitated early diagnosis of DFUs to mitigate their consequences.