Using digital manufacturing to design out diabetic foot problems in regional Australia

Designing out diabetic foot problems

This research, currently in the preliminary stage, is investigating the possibilities to improve podiatry services, particularly for diabetic foot disease (DFD), in regional Australia. There is a projected doubling of the rate of diabetes in Queensland – the fastest-growing chronic health disease in rural and regional areas and Indigenous areas, with the related problems of diabetic foot disease. In Mount Isa, almost a quarter of the population identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, and many have foot issues, where the focus is on the management of high-risk feet, predominantly due to DFD.

Who is involved?

The project is working with clinicians in healthcare and industry to provide a better service for clients in the Mount Isa area. The QUT Design Lab project lead is Associate Professor Marianella Chamorro-Koc, assisted by HEAL HDR Intern Isabel Byram.

What will be the process?

This project focuses on improving the supply chain of podiatric footwear for DFD by employing a transformative service design approach to develop an enhanced supply chain across regional hospitals, industry, and key stakeholders, that allows relevant input from specialists and patients in their footwear solution designs.

What will be the outcomes?

Using design-led methods and strategies, the project will advance orthotic design options, creating a service design pathway for work with regional Australia, which will also contribute to Australia’s digital transformation through advanced manufacturing in healthcare.