A virtual care management company dedicated to preventing diabetic amputations, one of the most debilitating and costly complications of diabetes.
More than 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, yet amputations resulting from diabetes — one of the most debilitating and costly complications, are one of the largest hidden costs in health care. Diabetic amputations, particularly those affecting the lower extremities, can also lead to subsequent health problems, and the five-year mortality rate for someone who has a diabetic amputation is as high as 80 percent. However, if diabetic foot issues are caught early, simple interventions, like staying off one’s feet for a matter of days, can prevent the severe complications that precede amputations. Before Podimetrics, the methods for detecting complications were cumbersome and impractical. They would require patients to hold a skin thermometer at six different points on each foot, record the temperature reading, evaluate changes in temperature themselves, and then reach out to their clinician. With this high barrier, many patients had trouble adhering consistently to the regimen. This is especially true amongst the population Podimetrics primarily serves, many of whom have multiple comorbidities as well as social challenges like a lack of internet access. The result has been that patients have relied only on infrequent evaluations at doctor’s appointments, at which point they may have missed the opportunity for simple, early interventions and instead require more drastic options, like amputation. Podimetrics’ solution is designed with simplicity in mind, utilizing the easy-to-use, cellular-connected SmartMat™, along with wraparound care support that virtually monitors for concerning findings so that patients can get the appropriate care and prevent the need for amputations.
Podimetrics has designed a virtual care support solution to detect early signs of diabetic foot complications before they require drastic, expensive treatments. Patients use Podimetrics’ cellular-connected, FDA-cleared SmartMat, which they simply step on for 20 seconds each day for a foot temperature reading. The data is then automatically sent to Podimetrics, which remotely monitors for early signs of problematic inflammation. The SmartMat identifies these early signs of complications, on average, five weeks before a wound would present clinically, allowing for simple interventions that get patients back on their feet quickly (Diabetes Care, 2017). Upon detection of any signs of complications, the Podimetrics support team contacts patients and begins an offloading protocol, which eliminates inflammation two-thirds of the time. If inflammation does not resolve, the care team then helps to ensure that both patients and providers are aware when timely preventative care is needed. . By removing the burden of this monitoring and physician outreach from the patient, Podimetrics is able to increase adherence for a difficult-to-reach population and ensure they receive the care they need at the right time. The SmartMat is intuitive for the high-risk populations it serves; it can even be used sitting down, an essential feature for those dealing with obesity, vision problems, or mobility issues. The award-winning design and cellular-connected technology doesn’t require the internet, increasing access to those without broadband. The SmartMat is FDA-cleared and approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association.
No other company combines care management services with a device that is easy to use and has a form factor that suits all patients. While others have designed devices intended to detect variation in foot temperature to indicate potential diabetic foot problems, those solutions are centered around socks or insoles. Unlike the SmartMat, which only needs to be used 20 seconds per day, socks and insoles need to be worn as much as possible, creating a significant barrier to meaningful adherence. Those solutions are also significantly more challenging for patients who may not be able to reach their feet easily, a common problem in the population affected by diabetic foot complications. Additionally, while competitor solutions require patients to be able to compare two feet, Podimetrics works for patients with only one foot available to monitor. This is critical for patients who have had a prior amputation or are ongoing treatment for a wound, which is the case for highest-risk patients. Podimetrics also excels in going beyond simply providing a device, but supporting that technology with wraparound care management. By offering a touchpoint for patients to interact with the health care system through remote monitoring, providers are able to detect and address all sorts of problems before they escalate and require more intense, expensive interventions, even if the problem isn’t related to the foot. The downstream effects of these solutions are significant, reducing financial strain by eliminating unnecessary ER visits and hospitalizations, and improving long-term patient outcomes by uncovering problems early.
By combining cutting-edge technology with best-in-class care management, Podimetrics earns high engagement rates from patients and allows clinicians to achieve unparalleled outcomes saving limbs, lives, and money. Research with Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic found Podimetrics reduces all amputations by 71 percent and completely eliminates all major amputations. The research also saw all-cause hospital admissions dropped by 52 percent and emergency department visits dropped by 40 percent. Podimetrics applies the science of thermometry in a way that is proven effective and intuitive for the patient. Research from 2017 published in Diabetes Care demonstrated a program adherence of 86 percent, substantially higher than alternative solutions. That same paper demonstrated that the SmartMat catches 97% of diabetic foot wounds on average five weeks before they would usually present clinically, a critical point given that early detection allows for much simpler interventions. Podimetrics patients consistently praise the simplicity of the solution, noting that it is easy to engage with consistently.
Diabetic amputations dramatically reduce quality of life among high-risk patients and represent a tremendous burden on the health care system. Podimetrics has developed a solution that can help eliminate the great majority of these complications and the costs associated with them through a simple, easy-to-use, proven-effective solution.