Monday, September 2, 2013

Engineering the perfect fitting shoe

Intelligent templates to help the sale of shoes online

Intelligent templates to help the sale of shoes onlineEnlarge        

Researchers from the University of Valencia's School of Engineering (ETSE-UV) take part in the project to create intelligent templates that could facilitate selling shoes online in the future. The group Intelligent Data Analysis Laboratory (IDAL) participates in the project Smartpif financed with 800,000 euros from the European Union -included in the programme to support small and medium companies- and is coordinated by the Valencian Podiatry Institute (IVPIE) and the Technnological Institute for Footwear and Related (INESCOP).

The aim of this research to be carried out over two years is to get smart and individualized prescription of templates based on the characteristics of footwear and foot of the user. So, it will be developed a set of tools that will help podiatrists to perform the best therapeutic treatment for their patients.

The person responsible for the Smartpif project (Smart tools for the Prescription of orthopedic Insoles and Footwear) at the University of Valencia, researcher José David Martín, explains that they will develop computer mechanisms that integrate "both the characteristics of the foot and possible disease as well as the materials used in the manufacturing so that health professionals can have basic information on the distribution of pressure on the feet of their patients when, for example, they advise a combination of shoe and template appropriate to their disease or to buy shoes over the Internet ".
The University of Valencia will focus on "obtaining models to determine as precisely as possible the various pressures exerted on sole template," says Martin. These models will be produced using pressure information obtained from 4D scans of users' feet, with forecast production of plantar pressure maps to make a more careful prescription of the shoe and insole combination most appropriate to each particular case.

The Smartpif consortium is coordinated by Ángel Camp, director of the Valencian company Valencian Podiatry Institute, and it is also formed by the Spanish Company Alu Group, the Italian Eurosuole, the British S-Insole and the Luxembourg Lion Sistems. Meanwhile, research is conducted from INESCOP and universities of Valencia, Salford (United Kingdom) and Politecnica delle Marche (Italy). Ángel Camp stresses that this research "will lead to an improvement in the design of templates, as that will reveal how patients make their pressure relief prior to manufacturing soles and test their effectiveness." In patients with diabetes, this initiative "may prevent the development of ulcers since these patients have deficiencies in feet pressure points," says Camp.

The group Intelligent Data Analysis Laboratory (IDAL) of the University of Valencia's School of Engineering is directed by Emilio Soria professor and researcher and has the mission of generating knowledge in an emerging area today, as is that of data analysis. Along with research on theoretical aspects of mathematical modelling necessary for intelligent data analysis, IDAL has as one of its primary objectives of this study the application to real problems, and it has already applied these techniques to different fields, such as Medicine, Marketing, Industrial Processes and Biomechanics.
#Biomechanics #Podiatry #Orthotics

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