Wednesday December 19, 2018

Now Comes a Shoe Insole That Could Treat Foot Ulcers Caused Due to Diabetes

A patent is pending on the insole technology. The team is currently seeking corporate partners

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The findings, published in the journal Diabetologia, were based on data from nearly 2,800 children with a first-degree relative with Type-1 diabetes.
New shoe insole could treat diabetic foot ulcers. Pixabay
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Researchers have developed a shoe insole that could help make the healing process more portable for people who develop ulcers as a result of diabetes.

Diabetic ulcers commonly result from high blood sugar damaging nerves, which takes away feeling from the toes or feet.

“One of the ways to heal these wounds is by giving them oxygen,” said Babak Ziaie, Professor at the Purdue University in the US.

“We’ve created a system that gradually releases oxygen throughout the day so that a patient can have more mobility.”

Without the ability to feel pain, hits and bumps tend to go unnoticed and skin tissue breaks down, forming ulcers.

A lot of sugar in the bloodstream, along with dried skin as a result of diabetes, further slow the ulcer healing process.

The researchers used lasers to shape silicone-based rubber into insoles, and then create reservoirs that release oxygen only at the part of the foot where the ulcer is located.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

“Silicone is flexible and has good oxygen permeability,” said Hongjie Jiang, a post-doctoral researcher at the varsity.

“Laser machining helps us to tune that permeability and target just the wound site, which is hypoxic, rather than poison the rest of the foot with too much oxygen,” Jiang added.

In a paper published in the journal Materials Research Society Communications, the team said the insole can deliver oxygen at least eight hours a day under the pressure of someone weighing about 53-81 kg.

It can also be customised to take on any weight, the study said.

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The team envisions a manufacturer sending a patient a pack of pre-filled insoles customised to his or her wound site, based on a “wound profile” obtained from a doctor’s prescription and a picture of the foot.

“This is mass-customisation at low cost,” said Vaibhav Jain, research associate at Purdue.

A patent is pending on the insole technology. The team is currently seeking corporate partners. (IANS)

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New AI Model by Google Can Help Detect Diabetic Retinopathy

For this purpose, it recently launched the "Google AI Impact Challenge"

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Google's new AI model to help detect diabetic retinopathy. Pixabay

Google has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model that can detect diabetic retinopathy with a level of accuracy on par with human retinal specialists, the technology giant said.

Google is working on “rolling out this diabetic retinopathy initiative in clinics in India with Verily” — an Alphabet-owned company which works on life sciences research and development, Kent Walker, SVP of Global Affairs at Google, wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

More than 400 million people in the world have diabetes. A third of them have diabetic retinopathy — a complication that can cause permanent blindness.

“Using the new assistive technology, doctors and staff can screen more patients in less time, sparing people from blindness through a more timely diagnosis,” Walker said.

While the blindness can be prevented, diabetic retinopathy often goes undetected because people do not always get screenings.

“In major part, this is due to limited access to eye care specialists and staff capable of screening for the disease. This is a problem that AI can help us solve,” Walker said.

“Deploying this technology in underserved communities that don’t have enough eye specialists could be life-changing for many,” Walker added.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

Google began work on the model in collaboration with eye specialists in India and the US a few years back. They developed an AI system to help doctors analyse images of the back of the eye for signs of diabetic retinopathy.

“The results were promising,” Walker noted, while adding “we should work to make the benefits of AI available to everyone”.

Google has for several years applied AI research and engineering to projects in Asia Pacific with positive societal impact, including stopping illegal fishing in Indonesia, forecasting floods in India, and conserving native bird species in New Zealand, the blog post read.

Also Read- U.S.A: Myanmar’s Military Campaign Against Rohingya Muslims a ‘Mass Genocide’

Besides healthcare, the tech giant also wants to support more Asia Pacific organisations in using AI to help society by engaging with governments, non-profit organisations, universities and businesses.

For this purpose, it recently launched the “Google AI Impact Challenge”.

“Selected organisations who apply to the challenge will receive support from Google’s AI experts and Google.org grant funding from a $25 million pool,” Walker said. (IANS)