Diabetes rates have risen sharply in developed countries in the wake of the obesity epidemic, and an estimated 30 million Europeans live with the condition. Foot problems are the most common cause of admission to hospital for diabetics, who are at risk of serious complications such as nerve damage and problems with the blood supply to their feet. Both conditions can lead to slow-healing wounds and foot ulcers which, if they get infected and become gangrenous, can lead to amputation.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, most cases of foot ulcers and amputations can be prevented by good foot care and wearing appropriate, properly fitting shoes that don't rub the feet or create pressure spots. Studies show that unsuitable footwear contributes to a significant increase in foot complications and is linked to 60-80% of all cases of foot damage.
The idea for EUREKA Project E! 2923 DIASHOE came from Professor Petr Hlavacek, Head of the Institute of Proteins and Leather Technology at the Tomas Bata University in the Czech Republic. He approached Czech footwear manufacturer and retailer Bata to suggest collaborating on developing a new generation of affordable prophylactic footwear for diabetics, designed to protect their feet and slow down and prevent unnecessary or irreversible damage.
Led by Bata, the four-year project pulled together the expertise of university researchers, diabetes experts and orthopaedic footwear specialists from the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and Italy.
Getting the measure of the problem
The design and development phase of the project involved developing a prototype shoe last, along with specialised soles, insoles and antibacterial linings. Constructing and refining the shoe last required, for comparison purposes, analysis of the feet of both diabetics and non-diabetics, plus thousands of meticulous measurements which were performed by researchers and students at the Tomas Ba
|Contact: Jana Vaskova|