Many diabetes patients lose sensation in their feet and are prone to foot ulcers. Without a proper feedback mechanism, there is no way for the patient to improve their gait and maintain healthy feet. Having poor walking technique also leads to poor posture as well as lower back problems as one ages.
What it does
The sockery is able to monitor your foot's health and well-being by measuring the relative force you are exerting on your foot. Our iOS app will be able to guide you in choosing the appropriate shoes for your feet and to also determine ways in improving your overall posture and gait. Modified pressure sensors allow us to gather more information about which area of the foot is experiencing the most pressure. If you are putting too much pressure on one section of the foot, then the app will alert the user! There is also a pedometer that measures the number of steps that have been taken by the user. Each section of the foot is shown schematically and colour-coded to match the pressure exerted on the foot with green=low pressure, yellow=medium pressure, red=high pressure.
How we built it
Sockery was built using Arduino and bluetooth sensors to send information on a web server so that our custom built iOS app can record the results in real-time. To measure the force exerted on the feet, we attached pressure sensors on the 5 corners of the foot. Pressure sensors were built using conductive foam and copper tape. Changes in conductivity resulted in an easier time for the current to pass through the foam easier and allow for highly sensitive readings in foot pressure changes.
Challenges we ran into
It was difficult to come up with a prototype of the idea and to design pressure sensors. It involved our team to try a few different models before ultimately settling on a working design of a pressure sensor.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud to have been able to create a custom-made pressure sensor using very basic materials. That said, the sensitivity of the sensors was the aspect we were most proud of.
What we learned
We developed a new techniques of measuring foot pressure and to also integrate arduino with the iOS platform.
What's next for Sockery
We hope to bring the application to diabetic patients as well as individuals with orthotic issues.