Intelligent Footwear System Embedded with Fabric Pressure Sensor

The objective of this project is to produce prototypes of intelligent footwear system for monitoring patients with diabetic foot syndrome, based on promising results of a completed HKRITA project on fabric sensors(title 'Fabric Sensors for Three Dimensional Surface Pressure Mapping', Ref no. ITP/034/07TP, total funding $7,125.400). Equipped with the fabric sensors, the system can continuously monitor foot conditions (plantar pressure, temperature and moisture etc.) during normal daily activities. This project will enhance the intelligent footwear systems to facilitate prototype production for clinical use in diabetes, and convert the laboratory scale deliverable to industrial-scale production. Specification and standardization of intelligent footwear system for mass production in commercialization process will be established. We propose to work with Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Kwong Wah Hospital on application of intelligent footwear system. The prototypes will be evaluated to meet need and requirement of industry and hospital, by involving healthy people and patients who have already had or have a tendency to develop the diabetic foot syndrome, based on scientific measurements and analysis of key influencing factors of ulceration in the clinical trials. The produced prototypes will be utilized in hospitals for diabetic patients to avoid foot damage and improve quality of life.

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.

Industry Benefit

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.

Project Name (ITF)
Monitoring Patients with Diabetic Foot Syndrome by Intelligent Footwear System
Project Number (ITF)