PHOOTONICS. A Cost-Effective Photonics-based Device for Early Prediction, Monitoring and Management of Diabetic Foot Ulcers



Diabetes is a major public health issue in Europe, affecting about 9,1% of the population. This represents a major economic burden to the healthcare system with annual cost reaching €7- 10€ billion. Every 20 seconds an amputation is performed somewhere in the world. More than half of these amputations are performed in patients with diabetes and usually these amputations are preceded by a foot ulcer. More that 85% of the amputations with diabetes as an underlying disease can be prevented. Therefore, healthcare providers and payers need an urgent solution to help eliminate avoidable diabetes related complications as diabetic foot ulcers and amputations.

Recently, photonic sensing technologies have been explored heavily in medicine. Diabetic foot ulcers are one of the key areas where the above-mentioned technologies have been proven effective based on clinical trials results.

Nowadays, DFUs are predicted and monitored using traditional medical imaging approaches, such as duplex ultrasound, doppler examinations, and skin lesions biopsies. All these medical practices are necessary for detecting important medical indices for DFU management and early prediction. More specifically, doppler examination provides an indicator of the Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) and Toe Brachial Index (TBI), indicators that measure blood flow in a foot. A low blood flow leads to uncontrolled ulcers and finally to amputation.

PHOOTONICS (A Cost-Effective Photonics-based Device for Early Prediction, Monitoring and Management of Diabetic Foot Ulcers) aims at developing a non-invasive, reliable and cost-effective photonics-driven device for DFU monitoring and management which can be applied for wide use. The project supports two versions: (i) the PHOOTONICS In-Home, used for DFU monitoring by patients and (ii) the PHOOTONICS PRO operated by physicians.

The consortium of the project consists of  11 participants: UAB Metis Baltic (Lituania), Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum (Belgium), Alpes Lasers SA (Switzerland), Quest Photonic Devices BV (Netherlands), Exus Software Monoprosopi Etairia Periorismenis Evthinis (Greece), National Technial University of Athens (NTUA, Greece), Charite – Universitaetmedizin (Berlin, Germany), Ethniko Kai Kapodistriako Panepistimio Athinion (Greece), Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara, TimeLex (Belgium) and Leiden Univeristy (Netherlands).

The project is funded under Horizon 2020 (Call H2020-ICT-2018-2020) – Information and Communication Technologies and has an overall budget of 4624781,25 eur.