Reference projects


Early detection of diabetic foot syndrome and pressure ulcers through intelligent insoles and seat cushions


People with diabetes have a high risk of suffering from the secondary disease diabetic foot syndrome (DFS), with serious consequences ranging from poorly healing wounds to amputation. For people in wheelchairs, remaining motionless in one place can lead to cell and tissue damage and even pressure ulcers (bedsores), which have a stressful healing process. In both DFS and pressure ulcers, neuropathy leads to loss of pain sensation and thus prevents recognition by the affected person.

Project content

In cooperation with CFS GmbH, MedUni Graz, Ortho-Aktiv GmbH, Pacemaker Technologies and V-Trion Textile Research GmbH, JOANNEUM RESEARCH are further developing existing pressure sensors (printed active matrix sensors in textile composite; PyzoFlex) for medical applications and supplementing them with intelligent software solutions. This can compensate for the lack of pain sensation, enable the crucial (early) detection of DFS and pressure ulcers and increase the chance of prevention or timely and thus successful treatment.

The conceptual design and development is carried out in an interdisciplinary manner together with future users within a co-creation process. This includes interdisciplinary focus groups and interviews, as well as process observations and workshops.

Project key facts
  • Duration: 2021 - 2024
  • Status: under development
  • Funding: FFG
  • Partners: JOANNEUM RESEARCH, CFS GmbH, Medical University of Graz, Ortho-Aktiv GmbH, Pacemaker Technologies, V-Trion Textile Research GmbH
  • Zaufenberger, L; Stampfer, P; Mader, J; Gold, H; Donsa, K;. (2022) Towards the Development of a Medical App for the Detection of Diabetic Foot Syndrome and Pressure Ulcers. Design thinking in medical app development. DOI: