Foot mat helps predict recurrent diabetic foot ulcers

A heat-detection mat that gives early warning of developing foot ulcers shows encouraging results, offering a useful tool in diabetic care.

Diabetic foot ulcer

Data indicate that many cases of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are recurrences. Therefore, predicting the condition in patients with a history of DFU could improve outcomes.

In a study reported in Diabetes Care
[1] (online, 2 May 2017), researchers explored whether a wireless, daily-use, temperature-monitoring foot mat could predict the development of recurrent DFU in a cohort of 132 patients with diabetes over 34 weeks. The device is designed on the principle that a difference in skin temperature between the two feet indicates local inflammation.

A total of 37 participants presented with 53 DFU during the study period.

Of those, the team found that, at an asymmetry of 2.22°Celsius, the system accurately predicted DFU at an average lead time of 37 days in 97% of cases. The false-positive rate was 57%. On average, 86% of the cohort used the system at least three days a week.

The researchers conclude that the mat could allow reductions in morbidity, mortality and resource use that result from DFU.


[1] Frykberg RG, Gordon IL, Reyzelman AM et al. Feasibility and efficacy of a smart mat technology to predict development of diabetic plantar ulcers. Diabetes Care 2017. doi: 10.2337/dc16–2294

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, July 2017, Vol 9, No 7;9(7):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20202947

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