A Technical Review of Foot Temperature Measurement Systems

Josef GrechCentre of Biomedical Cybernetics, University of Malta, Msida, Malta.

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Stephen MizziPodiatry Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta

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Owen FalzonPodiatry Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta

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Abstract

People suffering from diabetes are at risk of developing foot ulcerations, which, if left untreated, could also lead to amputation. Monitoring of the foot temperature can help in the prevention of these foot complications, and various studies have shown that elevated temperatures may be indicative of ulceration. Over the years there have been various devices that were designed for foot temperature monitoring, both for clinical and home use. The technologies used vary from infrared (IR) thermometry, liquid crystal thermography (LCT), IR thermography and a vast range of analogue and digital temperature sensors that were incorporated in different measurement platforms. All these systems are able to collect thermal data from the foot, some being able to acquire data only when the foot is stationary and others being able to acquire from the foot in motion, which can give a more in-depth insight to any emerging problems. The aim of this review is to evaluate the available literature related to the technologies used in these systems, outlining the benefits of each and what further developments may be required to make the foot temperature analysis more effective.

Corresponding Author: Stephen Mizzi, PhD, Office 56, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Of Malta. (E-mail: stephen.mizzi@um.edu.mt)