Project: Thermometry and text messaging as tools to prevent diabetic foot ulcers


CRONICAS, Center of Excellence in Chronic Disease is starting the implementation of a interesting project entitled “Implementation of foot thermometry and SMS to prevent diabetic foot ulcer”. It is funded by Forgaty International Center of the United States and aims to reduce the presentation of foot ulcers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and high risk of ulceration (people who had past history of ulcer or deformity and loss of sensation in the feet).

The project uses two technological tools: thermometry and cell phones. First, using thermometry allowed us to discover that the temperature difference between both feet threatens people with type 2 diabetes mellitus to produce foot ulcers. Then, a physician asked patients to perform a daily monitoring of their temperature and in those who noticed differences between one foot and the other a suggestion was made to decrease their physical activity until temperatures normalize.

The strategy was effective; however, patients who forgot to do their monitoring in more than 50% of the time did not have good results. Consequently, CRONICAS proposes using cellular technology to send reminder text messages that allow patients to not stop their control measurements under medical supervision, in order to prevent diabetic foot ulcers. Also, a working alliance has established with two referral hospitals belonging to the Ministry of Health of Peru. Patients who meet the high risk category of ulceration will be given an infrared thermometer and will receive instructions on their use, the importance of prevention of ulceration and will be sent text messages with reminders of temperature monitoring (intended only for a group of the sample). After a year, it will be seen whether there was a difference in the number of ulcers between groups or not.

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