SmartSoleSalvation: @KeckMedUSC Physicians Head Up Semifinalist Team in the 2018 Diabetes Innovation Global Challenge @USC @USC_Research @USCViterbi

Cutting-edge “Intelligent Insole” promises to reduce hospitalizations and increase quality of life through biofeedback technology


Professors David G. Armstrong, DPM, MD, PhD Charles Y. Liu, MD, PhD, have worked with Canadian company Autonomous ID to develop a portable home medical device: an insole that will help patients with diabetes monitor their health and avoid diabetic foot ulcers.

Because one of the side effects of diabetes is a loss of sensation in the extremities, patients can lose access to the body’s crucial early warning systems of heat and pain. Armstrong, a podiatric surgeon and expert in diabetic limb salvage, and Liu, a biomedical engineer and neurosurgeon, joined forces to develop an insole that could replace the lost nerve sensitivity in some patients with diabetes.

The program, called “Smart Sole Salvation,” can detect changes in skin temperature, foot pressure, and gait, as well as tracking overall trends such as activity level.

This may help patients and caregivers spot potential foot ulcers before they happen, reducing the incidence of infections, gangrene, and amputations. The insole also has the potential to aid in rehabilitation after treatment of an ulcer or infection by monitoring gait changes and reducing potential falls.

The overall goal is to reduce foot ulcers, hospitalizations, and amputations and improve mobility and quality of life.


The device has generated such an enthusiastic response in the T1D Exchange Diabetes Innovation Challenge that the Keck Medicine–led team has made it to the semifinal round. To vote for the Smart Sole Salvation device, visit the T1D Innovation Challenge page.


The team also has a short video that explains the insole in greater detail.


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