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Chennai-Based City Hospital Unveils Footwear to Tackle Diabetes-Related Ulcers

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

December 14, 2023

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Priced at INR 3,000, the footwear promises effectiveness comparable to the pricier imported options, according to Dr Vijay Viswanathan, head and chief Diabetologist at M V Diabetes.

In a significant development aimed at addressing foot ulcers, a prevalent complication of diabetes, a Chennai-based City hospital introduced indigenous footwear at a fraction of the cost of imported alternatives.

Priced at INR 3,000, the footwear promises effectiveness comparable to the pricier imported options, according to Dr Vijay Viswanathan, head and chief Diabetologist at M V Diabetes.

Foot ulcers, a common issue among older diabetes patients, often lead to complications including peripheral arterial disease and foot deformities. Dr Viswanathan highlighted that between 5% and 10% of diabetes patients develop foot ulcers, with risks escalating as patients age and the duration of diabetes increases.

To aid the healing process, patients with foot ulcers are advised to limit mobility and use specialised off-loading footwear. Dr Viswanathan highlighted the significance of good footwear in facilitating the healing process. He said, "Nothing works better than good footwear."

However, the high cost of imported options deterred many patients from accessing these crucial aids.

The hospital's in-house manufacturing unit presently produces these specialised shoes, offering customisation for each patient. Dr Viswanathan noted a limitation, stating, "We can only make 20 pairs a day. If a company can take up mass production, the cost will come down further."

Plans to collaborate with larger companies for mass production are underway, with discussions ongoing with the Central Footwear Training Institute.

DME Dr J Sangumani highlighted the potential benefits of affordable indigenous footwear, stating it would be advantageous for Indians due to its low cost and improved healing time.

In a related development, previously in October, researchers at IIT Delhi unveiled an affordable wearable pressure sensor designed to analyse gait and detect postural deformities. The flexible sensor, utilising a nanocomposite material, offers a cost-effective solution for monitoring human movement and injury rehabilitation.

The device addresses prevalent postural deformities, such as splay foot, flat foot, unstable hind foot with protruding heels, high arches, and irregular gait. The research contributes to ongoing efforts to detect and address these widespread and debilitating challenges.

This initiative by the city hospital and the advancements in affordable healthcare technology underscore the growing focus on accessible solutions for common health issues.


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