Diabetes is one of the most devastating and growing diseases. Nearly four times more common than all types of cancers combined, it has become a major public health concern. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the world.
Doctors are consulted regularly about diabetes and its resulting foot complications. Half of all diabetics will lose sensation in the feet—a condition called “peripheral neuropathy”. Without proper sensory feedback in the feet, diabetic patients are not aware that damage is being done to their feet. Serious complications can develop, such as foot ulcers, infection, and even amputation.
In examining health services to diabetics, Dr. Breanne Everett noticed doctors often had to wait until complications develop before anything can be done.
Understanding the need for a preventative solution to this issue, Dr. Everett envisioned a sensor-based shoe insole that would let patients know if and when they need to adjust their movement. With a potential solution in mind, she took a leave from her medical residency and co-founded Orpyx in Calgary.
Orpyx developed SurroSense Rx™, an innovative pressuresensing insole, mobile app and wristband system. Through the shoe insole, the SurroSense Rx™ device collects pressure data from the foot and sends the information wirelessly to a mobile app or wristband display, notifying the patient when pressure-induced damage is occurring. Patients can then adjust their behaviour to avoid severe complications.
To enter the Canadian market, SurroSense Rx™ must be in compliance with the quality management system ISO 13485.
With the assistance of Bhavin Rawal and his team at Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, the ISO compliance process will take a few months to complete. Experienced in helping organizations implement quality management systems, Technology Futures’ team will help Orpyx develop the system
it needs to meet the regulatory requirements applicable for medical devices. Technology Futures will also facilitate the registration of the medical device with Health Canada.
For Orpyx and diabetic patients, the future looks bright. With its foundational product expected to enter the market by the end of 2013, the company is beginning trials with a second product. SurroGait Rx™, a system that includes a pressure-sensing insole and an ergonomic back display, transposes sensation from the foot to the back, helping patients prevent injuries.
Through the course of its business development, Orpyx has received support from various members of the Alberta Innovates system, including TECTERRA and TEC Edmonton.