From bunions to plantar fasciitis, many conditions can make walking painful—or even impossible. Diagnosing the cause and restoring pain-free mechanics is challenging, but Belgium-based Digital Orthopaedics is developing a digital, knowledge-based clinical decision support system (CDSS) to help healthcare professionals around the world diagnose and treat patients quickly and easily.
When a patient visits their medical practice with a damaged foot or ankle, clinicians will be able to take an x-ray or CT scan and upload it to the cloud-based CDSS system, along with data relating to the patient’s quality of life, the functionality of their foot, the location of their pain, their gait, muscle activation and ligament loading patterns, joint and cartilage pressure and tissue stress. With the help of 3D virtualization and simulation, healthcare professionals then will be able to reconstruct the patient’s foot—and its unique pathology—as a 3D virtual model. This will help them to quickly and safely analyze how the different anatomical parts of the individual patient’s foot move, enabling them to accurately establish the root cause of the issue.
“We will be able to make the patients walk and run (virtually) to ensure that their mechanical capacities will improve and that our medical actions won’t lead to failure,” said Bruno Ferré, co-founder, CEO and medical director at Digital Orthopaedics.
Digital Orthopaedics hopes that healthcare professionals and orthopaedic experts around the world will be able to upload data to the CDSS when the first commercial version became available in May 2020, so it can create a comprehensive database of medical conditions and optimal treatment options. The system also uses machine learning algorithms to continuously refine and improve the recommendations and the surgical simulation platform.
“Our mission is to provide healthcare professionals and medical device and footwear companies with disruptive technologies that transform one-type- treatment-suits-all into a personalized therapeutic approach, taking into account the patient’s unique anatomy and functional entity,” Ferré said.