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Protective footwear for diabetics at a high-street price
Date:5/26/2009

ta University.

The team experimented with different materials to formulate soles with varying degrees of flexibility and support for differing degrees of foot impairment, and protecting specific pressure points when walking. Italian orthopaedic footwear specialist Maria Clara developed and tested a model featuring an elasticised fabric upper section for diabetics unable to wear leather shoes owing to advanced deformities. Good foot hygiene being especially important for diabetics, the team also spent some time developing and testing insoles and determining the most effective antibacterial treatment for the lining materials.

Rapid progress to market

Clinical trials took place over two years in Austria and the Czech Republic to test the DIASHOE prototypes manufactured by Bata. The diabetic volunteers recruited exhibited a range of foot complications, from non-serious complaints to functional problems arising from ulcers and amputations. "The clinical trials confirmed the footwear's prophylactic efficacy, and we received excellent feedback from the test subjects," says project manager Jana Vaskova. "The prototypes also proved equally suitable for non-diabetics with other orthopaedic conditions or who had undergone foot surgery, and for older people."

Today, the range of footwear is available on sale in Bata stores, pharmacies and orthotic shops selling medical devices, marketed under the brand name MEDI. "First of all a diabetic customer has to have his or her feet assessed and measured by their diabetes consultant or clinic, who will provide a prescription for their exact requirements which they bring along to one of our stores," explains Vaskova. "The MEDI range has the right shoes for most diabetics the fact that they aren't custom-made is what makes them affordable. The footwear is also officially accredited as a medical product, so a customer may also be able to reclaim the cost from their medical insurers."

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Contact: Jana Vaskova
vaskova@bata.cz
004-207-316-18730
EUREKA
Source:Eurekalert

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