UF Health Creates Device to Send Alerts to Patients About Care Parameters for Putting Weight on Feet

June 27, 2024
The Bluetooth device, which can be worn on a limb or in a shoe, would send a smartphone alert to a patient who is placing too much weight on a surgically repaired foot.

A surgeon and engineering professor at the University of Florida have banded together to invent a wearable Bluetooth device that sends doctors and patients real-time alerts if they put too much weight on a recently surgically repaired foot. UF Health's website has the release.

R. James Toussaint, the division chief in foot and ankle surgery in the UF College of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, would often observe that people would come in to follow-up appointments with a “dirty cast,” proving that they had put weight on their foot when they weren’t supposed to. He partnered with UF engineering professor Swarup Bhunia to create this device, which can be pasted on a limb or worn in a shoe.

A patient with the device attached to the bottom of the surgically repaired foot could receive a smartphone alert telling them, “Please don’t put weight on your foot.” Their doctor would also receive an alert. The device could also be useful for children or adults unable to care for themselves. It “also has the potential to help prevent skin ulcers in bed-bound patients.”

The device is also modular, meaning that multiple sensors can be placed on a patient, collecting data from different parts of their body. Clinicians can then use this information to “detect meaningful patterns from the data.”

About the Author

Matt MacKenzie | Associate Editor

Matt is Associate Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News.