Design project. Group project | 3 students. September 2019 – January 2020

Orthopedic shoe

Diabetes affects approximately 415 million people around the globe, and this number is expected to rise. Diabetics are more prone to develop feet complications due to nerve damage, vulnerable skin and poor circulation. One way to prevent this is to wear orthopedic shoes. But the fact is that many patients do not wear those shoes long enough.

The aim of this project was to increase adherence to wearing diabetic footwear by creating a behavior change support system using sensors in the diabetic footwear. First we did desk research was on theoretical background, related work, target group as well as different sensors. We also visited a (orthopedic) shoe lab at Fontys and an orthopedic shoe company, Buchrnhornen.

After we gathered all the information we needed, we built several prototypes using Adobe XD and we did a stakeholder analysis to visualize all the people involved in the medical circle of a patient with diabetes. The prototype made during the second iteration was evaluated by four patients and a diabetic nurse, after which the final version of the prototype could be created.

During the evaluation, we were able to get feedback from patients on the content of the app. However, we were not able to test whether DiaFeetback increases the adherence of the diabetes patients to wear their orthopedic shoes, due to technical shortcomings in our prototype and ethical boundaries. We also got feedback from experts; a diabetic nurse, physical therapist and an orthopedic technician. They were all positive about the concept of DiaFeetback.

DiaFeetback uses five types of interventions to achieve the goal of increasing adherence to wear orthopedic shoes based on several behavioral change theories. When the prototype is improved, it can be tested if DiaFeetback motivates the patients.

We think DiaFeetback has the potential to motivate diabetes patients to wear their orthopedic shoes more in the future.

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