Excellent work by our ever-creative friends and colleagues at University of Tokyo have build on previous work from many of our collective teams to build up what may ultimately be an accurate daily load estimation to customize for every patient under our care. Full text is here.
Development of a Plantar Load Estimation Algorithm for Evaluation of Forefoot Load of Diabetic Patients during Daily Walks Using a Foot Motion Sensor
Ayano Watanabe,1 Hiroshi Noguchi,2 Makoto Oe,3 Hiromi Sanada,1 and Taketoshi Mori2
Forefoot load (FL) contributes to callus formation, which is one of the pathways to diabetic foot ulcers (DFU). In this study, we hypothesized that excessive FL, which cannot be detected by plantar load measurements within laboratory settings, occurs in daily walks. To demonstrate this, we created a FL estimation algorithm using foot motion data. Acceleration and angular velocity data were obtained from a motion sensor attached to each shoe of the subjects. The accuracy of the estimated FL was validated by correlation with the FL measured by force sensors on the metatarsal heads, which was assessed using the Pearson correlation coefficient. The mean of correlation coefficients of all the subjects was 0.63 at a level corridor, while it showed an intersubject difference at a slope and stairs. We conducted daily walk measurements in two diabetic patients, and additionally, we verified the safety of daily walk measurement using a wearable motion sensor attached to each shoe. We found that excessive FL occurred during their daily walks for approximately three hours in total, when any adverse event was not observed. This study indicated that FL evaluation method using wearable motion sensors was one of the promising ways to prevent DFUs.