People suffering from diabetic neuropathy often can’t feel the soles of their feet. They can also develop dangerous wounds on those soles that may not be detected early enough, sometimes leading to infections, debridements, and amputations. There aren’t a lot of cheap options for keeping an eye on the bottoms of the feet. Mirrors are the most common, but they’re awkward to use and people with diabetic neuropathy often suffer from poor vision of retinopathy as well.
Students at Rice University have created a simple device that takes pictures of feet using cameras and lights and then automatically upload those to a website. From there they can be inspected by the patients themselves or by their physicians who may be aware of more signs of something being wrong.
Users don’t have to do much more than place their soles on the transparent plastic of the device. Cameras and mirrors are used to get quality shots of the entire foot from different angles.
Considering that all the components are cheap and readily available, the engineering project may one day lead to a real product if the students continue with development.
Here’s a short video report about the device from Rice University: