PhD student, Adin Tan, has presented his research on smart insoles for diabetic and venous ulcers to a national audience at the Australia 2040 Showcase in Canberra.
Australia 2040 is the forum of the Conference of the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Association which is held annually at Parliament House in Canberra.
This year’s conference included a showcase of CRC outcomes, such as prototypes and finished products.
At the forum, Tan, from the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, exhibited his research and demonstrated the prototype he developed as part of a project with the Wound Management Innovation Cooperative Research Centre (WMI-CRC).
The device relates to a sensor array system that provides bio-feedback on the application of pressure across a plethora of situations where monitoring can allow interventions.
Tan said that the aim was to avoid pressure injuries and create footwear for pressure distribution and gait analysis, smart bandages and bed sheeting.
“To ensure its effectiveness, the device comprises a complete system, including a sensor array, a processor and a signal output device which calculates the location, speed and distribution of the centre of pressure”, he said.
“Then the processor analyses the data and over time provides a signal indicative of the magnitude and movement of the centre of pressure.
“It can be used for multiple purposes, including diagnostic, preventive, rehabilitation, warning alert and performance measurement.”
Not surprisingly, Tan’s demonstration at the forum attracted a lot of attention, in particular when some guests volunteered to test the prototype themselves to see the resulting pressure distribution in real time.
Tan is supervised by Professor Franz Konstantin Fuss from the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Associate Professor Olga Troynikov, from the School of Fashion and Textiles, who received $1.5m funding from the WMI-CRC for projects on smart insoles and bandages for the management of diabetic and venous ulcers.
Dr Ian Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of the WMI-CRC, said that the CRC was focused on developing a number of promising products that would help to heal and prevent chronic wounds.
“RMIT research has led to several promising technology patents. WMI-CRC has partnered with RMIT to develop and deliver clinically relevant wound care products which will have a positive impact on patients, carers and health professionals”, Griffiths said.
“As more Australians suffer from wounds such as venous leg ulcers, pressure wounds and diabetic foot ulcers, the economic and social return on these next generation products is quite significant.
“Patients often have chronic wounds for months or years, and 70 per cent of them will never get the best treatment. When they do, 60 per cent will be healed within 12 weeks and 80 per cent within 24 weeks.
“We must remember that people with wounds can have a difficult life; they are often in pain and find it hard to move and work.
They may be embarrassed by the wound and there is a stigma attached to having a long-term wound that can lead to depression and isolation.
“With this in mind, I look forward to working with the RMIT team to address the problem of chronic wounds and deliver a clinically responsible solution.”