The potential role of sensors, wearables and telehealth in the remote management of diabetes-related foot disease

Golledge, Jonathan, Fernando, Malindu, Lazzarini, Peter, Najafi, Bijan, and Armstrong, David (2020) The potential role of sensors, wearables and telehealth in the remote management of diabetes-related foot disease. Sensors, 20. 4527.

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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.

Item ID: 64343
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1424-8220
Keywords: diabetic foot; remote-monitoring; sensors; prevention; telehealth; peripheral artery disease; diabetic peripheral neuropathy; remote patient monitoring
Copyright Information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Townsville Hospital and Health Services Study Education and Research Trust Fund, Queensland Government, James Cook University
Projects and Grants: NHMRC 1063476, Townsville Hospital SERTA, James Cook University Strategic Research Investment Fund (UHEAL), NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship 1117061, Queensland Government Senior Clinical Research Fellowship, NHMRC Early Career Fellowship
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2020 00:00
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3201 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology > 320199 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920199 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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