In PreventDFU, we propose to develop an advanced prototype for prophylaxis and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). This condition contributes to morbidity and loss of Quality of Life (QoL) of Diabetes Mellitus sufferers, most especially the elderly. We propose to develop a unit prototype, based on our proprietary pulsating negative pressure technology that can be used at home or nursing homes, for treatment of DFUs, and their prevention. Over 55Mn Europeans between 20 and 79 years of age are currently suffering from diabetes; 55% above 60 years old. The incidence of diabetes is expected to grow as the population ages. Diabetes sufferers have a 12 to 25% lifetime risk of developing a DFU. Over 8Mn Europeans coudl be suffering from DFU in their lifetime. A morbid display of DFU is the lower limb amputation; 85% of the amputations in diabetes sufferers are reported after unsuccessful DFU treatment this means between 290,000 and 450,000 amputations per year, an annual cost in the order of 2 2.5Bn.
We believe that introducing PreventDFU technology for home and nursing home use for the primary purpose of DFU prophylaxis during sleeping hours and for the secondary purpose of assistive therapy of mild DFUs may reduce DFU incidence in the elderly and prevent a significant number of DFU-related toe, foot and leg amputations. If Prevent DFU technology can only help 5% of the DFU sufferers, this would mean substantial QoL improvement for over 400,000 Europeans and over 2 Mn sufferers worldwide, substantially reduce associated healthcare costs and give a considerable boost to the European Medical Device Manufacturing, Nursing and Assisted Living sectors. PreventDFU technology could benefit elderly pressure ulcer (PU) suffers by providing timely prophylaxis by increasing the blood flow in the legs; it has been reported that 95% of all pressure ulcers occur in the lower part of the body while 70% of those occur in persons over 65 years of age.