LER: Foot Health – March 2016
From the editor:
Get smart about smart insoles
New technologies, especially those with the potential to allow patients to manage their own health, can leave practitioners wondering about their job security. But smart insoles aren’t going to put any clinicians out of work any time soon. In fact, smart insoles won’t really be able to help patients unless foot health specialists embrace them as a clinical tool.
This is true for a number of reasons, many of which are discussed in this issue of LER Foot Health (see “Smart insoles: Assessing their clinical potential,” page 15).
Without a clinician’s guidance, patients may not realize smart insoles’ potential benefits for specific conditions like diabetic neuropathy. The data generated by a smart insole’s embedded sensors won’t do a patient any good if those data are too numerous or complex, but an astute practitioner can analyze that information and determine its clinical implications.
Most important, patients who experiment with smart insoles on their own are likely to tire of the technology once the novelty wears off—and long before any significant health benefits have been achieved.
I observed this phenomenon firsthand recently in a number of friends who went through a Fitbit phase. They counted their steps religiously and even chose to walk on occasions when they normally would have driven. It certainly seemed like the technology was on its way to improving their health. But it failed to hold their interest after just a few weeks.
The problem in that case wasn’t with the technology. It’s just hard for many people to implement lifestyle changes on their own, and that’s something even the smartest technology hasn’t yet figured out a way around. That’s where a clinician’s involvement can really make a difference.
Don’t worry about smart insoles doing your job for you. Focus instead on how smart insoles can help you do your job better.
By Jordana Bieze Foster
Diabetes mellitus and peripheral neuropathy are associated with altered movement in individual metatarsal segments that is not always consistent with movement of the forefoot as a whole, according to research from Chicago that may have implications for foot ulcer prevention.
By Katie Bell
Too often when a person has issues with their feet, they are treated for their symptoms rather than the underlying problem, said Jeffrey Jacobs, BOCPed.
By Kristine Thomas | Photos by Nancy Bateman
Chances are, if asked to describe a shoe repair shop, you probably wouldn’t use the words “pretty” or “refined.” But Gail Sundling, owner of the Delmar Bootery, might convince you otherwise.
By Catherine M. Koetters
Athletes have been quick to embrace smart insoles and the biomechanical data generated by the devices’ embedded sensors. But experts believe smart insoles may also have potential clinical applications for patients with foot health problems, such as diabetic neuropathy.
By Shalmali Pal
Increasing numbers of studies suggest that a high body mass index can significantly affect foot structure and function, increasing the risk of painful conditions. But questions remain as to how foot health specialists can best address foot pain in their obese and overweight patients.
By Barbara Boughton
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