Red River College students develop electronic shoe sole to prevent injuries to diabetic patients

Students and staff at Red River College are assisting in the development of a device that will give diabetic patients real time data that could help save their lives.

“It’s helping diabetics have a more inclusive more complete treatment program to maintain a better life style,” said the mind behind the creation Bruce Griffith, the founder of Avriel International.

Griffith’s company designed an electronic shoe insole that has the capability to alert patients in real time when problems related to their condition begin to occur.

A ‘Smart Shoe’ plugged in via USB. Submitted Photo

“Diabetics are prone to pick up neuropathy. They lose sensation in there lower extremities and their feet to the point where a lot of diabetics have that kind of progression,” said Griffith, the creator of the ‘smart shoe’.

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When patients with diabetes bump or bruise their feet, the pain often goes unnoticed until a physical wound appears.

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“The idea is to be able to pick up the lost sensations, and to be able to notify the patient on a live-time notice,” he says.

“It’s only going to help them ward off some of these foot problems.”

The flexible insole can be directly inserted into any shoe.

It will generate real-time data and alerts that can be transferred to a smartphone app.

A pair of bluetooth-capable ‘Smart Shoes’ displayed next to a phone. Submitted Photo

The prototype was initially created eight years ago.

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It arrived at Red River in 2019 when further development was required.

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“This included people with skills in mechanics and design, skills in electronics and inventive systems and also software development,” explained Dele Ola, the college’s director for aerospace and manufacturing.

“We all assembled ourselves together and we were able to take the shoe from a lab scale basic electronics type of system that we had before to a complete insole that can now fit in a shoe.”

Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, the product is expected to hit the market in 2022 at the latest.

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