Real-Time Smart Textile-Based System to Monitor Pressure Offloading of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Andrea Raviglione, Roberto Reif, Maurizio Macagno, Davide Vigano, Justin Schram, David Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: The lifetime risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is at least 25%. A DFU carries a 50% risk for infection and at least 20% of those receive some form of amputation. The most significant parameter that prevents or delays ulcer healing is high plantar pressure. To improve the patient's healing process, the DFU's plantar pressure should remain cumulatively low. Therefore, a tool that continuously measures the DFU loading, and provides real-time feedback can improve the healing outcome. Methods: We report the development of a system capable of continuously measuring the pressure, which could have applications to monitor DFU. The system contains a textile pressure sensor attached to a stretchable band, hardware that collects data and transmits them via Bluetooth to a phone, an app that gathers the data and stores them in the cloud, and a web dashboard that displays the data to the clinician. The sensor was characterized in vitro using the system, and the web-dashboard was developed and tested on simulated patient data. Results: We demonstrate the feasibility of developing the system and characterize the pressure response of the device. As a result, we demonstrate a viable method for monitoring DFU off-loading in real time. Conclusions: The presented study demonstrates the feasibility to develop a simple, modular wearable system that opens up new possibilities for diabetic foot ulcer care by providing a way of monitoring the pressure under the ulcer in real time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-898
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • diabetic foot ulcer
  • off-loading
  • plantar pressure
  • real-time monitoring system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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