Home Health Care
Insight Foot Care Scale
Diabetics suffer 75,000 lower extremity amputations a year due to poor foot care examination. “I've cared for people with diabetes for nearly two decades,” said Dr. Armstrong, Professor of Surgery at University of Arizona College of Medicine. “Every 30 seconds someone suffers an amputation because of this disease. But 85 percent of these amputations could be prevented with proper foot care.” To address this tragic problem, frog designed a scale that uses illuminated mirrors to magnify the foot’s sole for easy viewing by the elderly and obese who have diabetes.
“The new Insight Foot Care Scale is about as sleek and attractive as any bathroom scale you could wish for.”
"Since I couldn't feel any pain, I didn't know there was anything wrong until it was too late," said one diabetic, who lost her right foot to amputation. Decreased blood circulation led to numbness and an infection in her foot went untreated. Sadly, this is an increasingly common story. According to the Center for Disease Control, lower extremity amputations caused by diabetes in the US have increased fifty percent in the last two decades.
Though checking one's feet on a regular basis is a critical practice for those with diabetes, it poses two significant problems. First, the majority of diabetics are elderly or obese and simply didn't have the flexibility to closely examine the bottoms of their feet. Second, one of the first signs of trouble is the loss of sensation in the feet, in effect robbing diabetics of their natural warning system.
Check Your Feet and Your Weight
The simple but effect approach of the Insight Foot Care Scale is to combine two needs for diabetics: monitoring their weight and their feet. When the person steps on the scale, their weight appears on a display with large numbers
(diabetes often affects eyesight). Then the scale beeps and lights up mirrors built into the scale, reminding users to check their feet. The angled illuminated mirrors show a bright and magnified image of the soles of their feet. “The team spent a lot of time on the best angle for the mirrors and light,” says John Lapetina, a mechanical engineer in frog's San Francisco studio. “The goal was to provide as clear an image as possible.”
The Design: Sleek and Unimposing
Another goal for the Insight Foot Care Scale was to make it as inconspicuous as possible. “We worked very hard on the color and construction so that it blends in and is familiar to the consumer,” says Lapetina. Amy Tenderich, reviewing the scale for the website Diabetes Mine, agreed, noting, “The new Insight Foot Care Scale is about as sleek and attractive as any bathroom scale you could wish for.”