How to avoid complications with diabetic foot problems

Diabetic foot ulcers are the most common complications seen in people with diabetes


Foot troubles can be common in people with diabetes as the health condition may cause nerve damage over a period of time which is called diabetic neuropathy can eventually make you lose sensation in your feet. When this happens, certain cuts and wounds developing in the feet may get unnoticed which could lead to infections. 

The nerve damage and the restricted blood flow in the lower extremities of people with diabetes can develop diabetic foot ulcers. If left untreated, in some cases it could also lead to full or partial amputation.

Around the world, some 150 million people suffer from peripheral artery disease (diabetic foot problems). Often prevalent in people who have diabetes, it can lead to a foot condition that in turn can result in foot amputations and even death.

Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

It is important for people with diabetes to take care of their feet by washing and drying them properly, try to keep the skin between the toes dry. If you notice any corns or calluses on your feet, you must consult your doctors.

Here are the symptoms of foot ulcers that you must pay attention to

  • Discoloration of skin
  • Numbness, tingling, and pain in the legs
  • Blisters or other wounds on the foot


A major problem is that it’s usually discovered only when symptoms appear and treatment options become limited.

This is where Israeli startup Votis steps in. Founded in 2017, the Jerusalem-based company has developed an innovative device that can identify the disease in its very early stages.


Foot problems in diabetes


“It’s a device to help people with diabetes keep their feet through noninvasive, radiation-free assessment of the blood and oxygen in their feet,” explains Votis cofounder and president Merrill Weber.

“Our system is unique in that it can identify the disease while it’s still asymptomatic, so the patient doesn’t even know he has a problem,” he adds.

“It gives the doctors a lot more specific information about the disease and a lot more treatment options because there’s less damage at the time that it's discovered,” he says.

How Votis works


“We put patches on the outside of the foot and direct infrared light and near-infrared light into the foot. By measuring the scattering and absorption of light, we can assess the blood flow and the condition of the oxygen in the hemoglobin in the blood. The whole test takes about five minutes and it's non-invasive and doesn’t use X-rays so it’s safe,” says Weber.

“After the information is taken it’s sent to the cloud for processing with AI and is available to the doctor with an app. It will be integrated with the patient’s electronic health records.”

“We have prototype devices and they’ve been tested on human subjects,” Weber notes. “We’re in the process of finishing our beta device and we expect to do medical trials that will get us regulatory clearance in the US and in Europe in the first half of 2022. We expect to release the devices in the US, Europe, and India – where the problem is really significant – in 2022.”



foot diabetic


The device is meant to be used on people over the age of 65, for whom it is recommended to get checked for peripheral artery disease on an annual basis, as well as for people over the age of 50 with higher risk factors.

Looking for innovative technology

Weber notes that Votis has yet to encounter substantial challenges in building its product.

“We have some very bright and experienced people, and we like to measure twice and cut once. So far we haven’t had any major setbacks.”

While there are other companies operating in the field, he believes they cannot deliver the same services as Votis.

“There are other companies that have technologies that can find foot ulcers at the early stage of their formation, but by that time many treatment options are no longer available. We look better and we see better so we give the doctors more treatment options for the patients.”

Weber envisions the Votis device being used widely by doctors and other healthcare practitioners.

“The screening devices should be used by doctors in general practice as well as endocrinologists and diabetes specialists. We’d also like it to be available in health kiosks or big-box stores. It’s designed to be easy to use so can be administered by a technician.”

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