VA uses innovative means to help reduce diabetic limb loss


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For National Diabetes Month–and as part of broader efforts by VA to confront diabetes–VA will begin regional implementation of the Podimetrics Mat, a new medical device that has the potential to prevent limb loss in Veterans with diabetes.

The technology, now in use at 15 VA medical centers, uses thermographic monitoring of a patient’s feet to identify early onset of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). DFUs can lead to limb loss if not detected early.

Known as thermal imaging, the non-invasive test involves no radiation and uses a special camera to measure skin temperature. This allows clinicians to develop plans for preventing added deterioration of a patient’s health.

“VA’s early adoption of cutting edge, innovative solutions to combat a disease that impacts so many Veterans is another example of how VA is aiming to be a leader in health care innovation,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA is uniquely positioned in its ability to test and quickly scale new solutions throughout its health care system, which can drastically change Veteran lives.”

VA’s use of the Podimetrics Mat builds on a 2017 VA-led study at the Phoenix VA and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare Systems. The study showed the in-home foot-temperature monitoring device was able to detect 97% of DFUs as early as five weeks before the onset of symptoms, with 86% of participants using the mat an average of three days per week. With more medical centers offering use of the mat, VA has continued to observe similar outcomes.

One VA facility found 84% of Veterans are using the mat almost daily, allowing preventative clinical interventions to take place.

The mat will be available to all Veterans across the country through their local Prevention of Amputations for Veterans Everywhere clinic providers. In addition, VA’s Veterans Health Administration Innovation Ecosystem is implementing a pilot program of the mats at VA facilities in the southeast, where some of the highest DFU rates exist.

Through the effort, VA will be able to further evaluate best practices and optimize care models, ultimately improving the effectiveness of the technology in the VA health care system. Last year, VA treated more than 75,000 cases DFUs across the country.

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VA News

Comments

  1. Robert martin    

    CURE TYPE 1 and TYPE 2 diabetes with no risk. Watch your insulin carefully as you go to prevent insulin shock as you need less and less. It reduced my blood sugar with only 2 lbs weight loss. Simply confine the hours you eat and snack to 8. It’s that simple. If first eating at Noon, then last snack before 8 pm, or 9 to 5pm , etc. Results should show at 90 days. I am a vet and I am not selling anything.

  2. Robert martin    

    My dad and grandfather both had diabetes but were on pills, not insulin. My fasting blood sugar has always been 15 units above what they li,e. At 21, they had to test me 3 times before they could draft me. But I am 74 now and though about 30 lbs overweight, my blood sugar pattern has only inched up to be now about 5 pats higher than it was age 20. It was up about 20 pats until a few months ago when I discovered an article about intermittent fasting. It has always been known that especially men losing around 20 to 30 lbs often caused diabetes to be cured. They thought it was the weight loss, but now they are fairly sure it is simply restricting the time window during which you eat and snack down to 8 hours. Even if you don’t lose weight, new insulin producing cells are generated in the pancreas in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cases. It worked to bring my day in and day out sugar level by 15 pats and I don’t think I ever had regular diabetes. I would love questions and feedback

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