14 Mar Norscan Working With Koven To Develop An Early Detection Solution For Foot Ulcers
Together with Koven Technology, Norscan Instruments is working to create an accurate and cost-effective tool to help those dealing with diabetes. “Patients with diabetes often develop foot ulcers, which can be difficult to detect but can progress rapidly, often to the point where amputation of the foot or lower leg is required,” said Cory Jeffrey, lead Hardware Engineer for this project. “Early detection of these ulcers allows for a wider range of treatments that can slow or stop the progression of the ulceration and save the limb.”
Current Solutions are Time-Consuming and Complex
Currently, the most effective detection of foot ulcers is done in a clinical setting by a nurse or technician with a hand-held temperature probe. While effective, there can be a large time gap between appointments, leaving time for an ulcer to develop. If a patient were able to administer daily self-tests from the comfort of their home, this would better detect the development of foot ulcers, while also freeing up clinician’s time.
While products do exist currently to administer these self-tests, they can be inaccurate and difficult to use. “Patients can use single-point infrared temperature sensor or thermal camera solutions to administer these self-tests,” explains Jeffrey, “but this can be difficult for patients with limited mobility to perform, and the single-point is prone to misalignments between tests.”
A cost-effective, easy to use & accurate solution
Koven came to Norscan with an idea for a product that is easy to use, provides accurate results, and is cost-effective for the customer. “The Koven system differs in that it uses a large number of inexpensive temperature sensors laid out in a pair of grids conforming to the typical foot shape,” said Jeffrey. “The use of the inexpensive sensors allows for a large number of test points while still providing the required resolution and accuracy for the analysis.”
Working closely with Koven, Norscan developed a working proof of concept for Koven to further test through field trials on mock patients. The working concept, which looks similar to a household scale, tests 256 different points on the feet in less than one minute, providing quick results and superior detection of problem spots. “At an affordable price, this easy-to-use product will be able to accurately detect problem spots early,” says Jeffrey, “and early detection means more treatment options. This product has the potential to save limbs from amputation.”