"Personal Health Networks" and Amputation Prevention : Message from India

Congratulations to our colleague Jairaj Kumar, who we last met here at SALSA in 2010. This is a terrific article describing his work from today's Deccan Chronicle penned by Syed Akbar:

In a major technological breakthrough that could prevent amputation of legs in diabetics, a city doctor has successfully patented a medical device that helps doctors to monitor and treat nerve damage or neuropathy in patients.

At present there’s no perfect medical device that could tell doctors the quantum of nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) in the feet of diabetics.

Though glucometers tell the sugar levels in the blood, they do not inform physicians about the damage diabetes has caused to nerves. It is this damage that causes diabetic sores, gangrene, or diabetic foot, which may ultimately result in amputation.

Senior chronobiologist Dr C. Jairaj Kumar, who is currently a visiting faculty in Ludwig-Maximilians University, Germany, developed the device based on “chaos science”. Dr Jairaj’s technology was one of the seven indigenous technologies selected by the Centre for presentation before the US Secretary of State, Ms Hillary Clinton, in New Delhi earlier this week.

“High glucose levels in blood damage the blood vessels. The first to be affected are small blood vessels. Medium and large blood vessels are affected gradually. Our device helps in knowing the extent of damage caused to such nerves. The problem can be treated at initial stages, preventing amputation in case of diabetic foot, and death in case of heart muscle damage,” Dr Jairaj said.

The device works on the concept of chaos science and neuropathy. It measures the progression of diabetic neuropathy and predicts foot ulcer development. “It is a novel concept based on the theory of chaotic movement of the foci in the sole of the foot,” he added.

A diabetes patient has to stand on the device for a few minutes and the report is generated in five minutes. The equipment studies the feet in detail and identify areas prone to ulcers.

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