Rice University, Diabetic foot

Device Helps Patients Detect Early Signs of Ulceration

By MedTech Intelligence Staff
Rice University, Diabetic foot

Lights, camera, inspection! Students have developed a prototype that helps diabetic patients inspect their feet.

Students at Rice University have designed a device that could help patients with diabetes inspect their feet for signs of ulceration. When left untreated, ulcers are a dangerous problem that can lead to amputation.

The inspection device consists of a clear plastic top, cameras, lights, a mirror and electronics. It has an adjustable sliding top plate with toe separators. When the foot is in position, the patient can operate the device from a website that lights the LEDs inside the device and takes pictures of the top and bottom of the photo. Images are then transferred to the website via a special computer called an onboard Raspberry Pi computer.

“It’s much easier than a manual device, like a mirror on a stick, for people who aren’t flexible enough to look at the bottom of their feet directly because of their condition or age. If your visual acuity is harmed in any way, you absolutely cannot see your foot from a mirror that is three or four feet away,” said Caz Smith, a mechanical engineering student at Rice University. “For me, this project had the coolest combination of electrical and mechanical engineering.

A previous version of the device consisted of a camera on a gooseneck attached to the end of a telescoping stick. Patients would then manually inspect their feet.

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