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The Potential Role of Sensors, Wearables and Telehealth in the Remote Management of Diabetes-Related Foot Disease

1
Ulcer and wound Healing consortium (UHEAL), Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease, College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
2
The Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Townsville University Hospital, Townsville, Queensland 4814, Australia
3
School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland 4000, Australia
4
Allied Health Research Collaborative, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Brisbane, Queensland 4006, Australia
5
Interdisciplinary Consortium on Advanced Motion Performance (iCAMP), Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
6
Southwestern Academic Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA), Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(16), 4527; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20164527
Received: 14 June 2020 / Revised: 29 July 2020 / Accepted: 12 August 2020 / Published: 13 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body Worn Sensors and Related Applications)
Diabetes-related foot disease (DFD), which includes foot ulcers, infection and gangrene, is a leading cause of the global disability burden. About half of people who develop DFD experience a recurrence within one year. Long-term medical management to reduce the risk of recurrence is therefore important to reduce the global DFD burden. This review describes research assessing the value of sensors, wearables and telehealth in preventing DFD. Sensors and wearables have been developed to monitor foot temperature, plantar pressures, glucose, blood pressure and lipids. The monitoring of these risk factors along with telehealth consultations has promise as a method for remotely managing people who are at risk of DFD. This approach can potentially avoid or reduce the need for face-to-face consultations. Home foot temperature monitoring, continuous glucose monitoring and telehealth consultations are the approaches for which the most highly developed and user-friendly technology has been developed. A number of clinical studies in people at risk of DFD have demonstrated benefits when using one of these remote monitoring methods. Further development and evidence are needed for some of the other approaches, such as home plantar pressure and footwear adherence monitoring. As yet, no composite remote management program incorporating remote monitoring and the management of all the key risk factors for DFD has been developed and implemented. Further research assessing the feasibility and value of combining these remote monitoring approaches as a holistic way of preventing DFD is needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: diabetic foot; remote-monitoring; sensors; prevention; telehealth; peripheral artery disease; diabetic peripheral neuropathy; remote patient monitoring diabetic foot; remote-monitoring; sensors; prevention; telehealth; peripheral artery disease; diabetic peripheral neuropathy; remote patient monitoring
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MDPI and ACS Style

Golledge, J.; Fernando, M.; Lazzarini, P.; Najafi, B.; G. Armstrong, D. The Potential Role of Sensors, Wearables and Telehealth in the Remote Management of Diabetes-Related Foot Disease. Sensors 2020, 20, 4527.

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