Massachusetts Patent of the Month – July 2022
Vivonics, Inc. is on a mission to improve human health outside of traditional health care settings. They are reaching towards this goal by developing innovative mobile physiological monitoring, diagnostics, and clinical decision support technologies. Their technologies are supported by their expertise in biomedical, mechanical, electrical, and software engineering.
Recently, the company has been developing a temperature control device to monitor and regulate foot temperature for diabetics. Those who suffer from diabetes are likely aware of the risk of foot ulceration. Without proper care, foot ulcers can quickly become infected and lead to amputation or even be fatal. Most therapeutic footwear only addresses one causative factor – pressure. But foot ulceration is a complex biomechanical pathology with causes from more than just pressure. Numerous studies have shown that individuals who developed pressure ulcers had significantly higher baseline skin temperatures suggesting temperature is a causative factor as well.
These studies inspired Vivonics’ design for their temperature-based therapeutic footcare. The device includes both a heating and cooling system within sealed fluidic pathways. A pumping device controls this fluid flow, directing warmed or cooled fluid throughout the insole. A heat exchanger with thermoelectric cooling (TEC) is used to conveniently modify the temperature as needed. Combining this technology with pressure monitoring creates an insole with even greater therapeutic benefits for those with diabetes. The insole is designed to be worn for long periods of time, reducing pressure peaks and controlling plantar temperature. While not yet FDA approved, the patent for this technology brings the company one step closer to realizing their mission.
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