June 2, 2015
Diabetic foot ulcer prevention winning debate against wound care, says ALG CEO
The CEO of a leading medical technology company has called for greater emphasis to be placed on the prevention of diabetic foot ulcers rather than wound care.
Hugh Sheridan, CEO of ALG, was speaking after attending the 7th International Symposium on the Diabetic Foot in The Hague.
Sheridan said: “For years, the wound care industry has dominated the subject of diabetic foot, but the feedback I received at the conference was that there was a desire for the agenda to move more towards preventative action.
“ALG believes passionately that we should be considering the 380 million people affected by diabetes worldwide rather than the 12 per cent who have a foot ulcer.
“For too long, the provision of consumable wound dressings has dominated the market as opposed to prevention methods which can drastically reduce the risk of ulcers occurring.”
Michelle Weddell, Head of Education for ALG, gave a talk entitled “We don’t believe in ulcers”, stressing the importance of pre-ulcer offloading using foot orthotics.
Plantar Callus, a risk factor for ulceration, indicates abnormal foot pressures and occurs most frequently under the metatarsal heads.
Michelle explained that NICE guidelines in the UK for Type 2 Diabetes foot problems, prevention and management highlighted the benefits of specially designed insoles as inserts to patients’ shoes or in combination with specially designed shoes to reduce abnormal foot pressures and foot ulcers.
Michelle said: “Diabetes affects more than 380 million people worldwide and by 2030 this figure will have risen to 550 million – 10 per cent of the world’s adult population.
“In certain parts of the world there is no national guidance on diabetic foot and no real prevention. The focus instead is on wound care, but with the right podiatry care upon diagnosis of diabetes, these ulcers would not have been allowed to develop. This would lead to significant long-term healthcare savings.
“At The Hague and also recently in the Middle East, I spoke about the importance of offloading and biomechanics. Proper offloading is critical to the prevention of diabetic foot ulcers.”
The 7th International Symposium on the Diabetic Foot – held once every four years – brought together more than 1,500 delegates from over 100 countries.
Diaped, the global diabetic foot care brand owned by ALG, showcased a number of key products including:
- Diaped Duosoft Flow insoles designed for patients with diabetes and other conditions which result in sensitive feet;
- Solesee – an easy-to-use mirror for people with high risk feet conditions;
- Non-contact digital thermometer – an early warning tool in the fight against neuropathic ulceration;
- Diaped Flux-200 – pocket-size Doppler to detect and evaluate blood flow for vascular assessment in diabetic foot.
Diaped’s sister brand, Aortha, a specialist in orthotics and prosthetics, exhibited its pioneering 3D insole technology, due to be launched in early 2016.
The technology, which can print a pair of insoles in an hour, has already attracted significant interest in the UK and North America.
The breakthrough will allow custom-made and more supportive insoles to be created six times faster than anything else on the market.
Sheridan said: “The 3D printing market is moving quickly and the tremendous feedback we have had from customers demonstrates that we are creating something significant.
“Aortha OrthaPrint and Aortha OrthaFlex will provide orthotists and podiatrists with the ability to print a pair of insoles in an hour.
“The technology transforms the speed with which custom-made, multi-density insoles can be produced.
“This advance fits with the ALG mission to develop and bring to market life-changing products that not only change the way people move, but also the way they feel.”
NOTES TO EDITORS