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Foot pressure measurement with WLAN soles “Walking freely and naturally”

Issue 02/2019

With the wireless WLAN soles by medilogic, Wirth GmbH has made foot pressure measurement considerably more comfortable for its customers. At the same time, they benefit from particularly high data quality – for very precise treatment.

And go, please!” Katja Zorn calls from the measuring room at Wirth GmbH in Lichtenfels, Germany. That is the command for the patient in the long corridor next door to begin walking in a relaxed manner. In the meantime, Katja Zorn stares in fascination at the monitor, which shows the patient’s every step as a colored pressure representation in real time. After around 30 steps, she stops the measurement and calls the patient to come back to the room again. “That was a typical foot pressure measurement with our WLAN soles, as we carry out them on a daily basis, mainly for the treatment of our diabetic patients,” explains the manager of the foot orthoses department at Wirth. “This is how we measure the load of the feet and localize pressure points very precisely. In combination with a detailed foot examination, we can then cushion, guide or support the feet in a targeted way with the foot orthoses.” At almost 40 percent , orthopedic footwear technology is the largest business area of Wirth GmbH. The company was founded in 1959 and is also active in the areas of orthopedic technology, medical supply, rehabilitation aids, mobility and medical sports products.

Authentic and meaningful:
foot pressure measurement with the
WLAN soles.

New freedom of movement

The wireless measurement system has been used at Wirth GmbH since mid-2018. It measures the pressure distribution under the foot directly in the shoe. The data is transmitted to the PC or laptop via WLAN. “The key advantage of these soles is, of course, that you no longer have any bothersome cables around the computer or the patient ,” Katja Zorn explains. “The patient can then walk a longer route completely freely and naturally, which makes the data collection more authentic and meaningful. They no longer have to worry about the cables, and the Velcro fastening adheres very well to the leg.” The orthotist always fastens the Velcro strap with the transmitters directly to the patient while they are standing, to prevent it from slipping or tightening when the patient gets up. “The precision and handling of the WLAN soles is perfect. They simply allow us to get better measurements and we are very pleased to have switched to this technology.” A positive side effect in line with sustainability: the existing system by medilogic with wired soles, which the company has been using for many years, did not have to be disposed of. Yet it was simply modified by medilogic to incorporate the new WLAN feature.

Katja Zorn, manager of the foot orthoses department at Wirth.

Pinpoint load measurement

The WLAN soles are used at Wirth GmbH both for supplying (new) products and for regular checks of the existing aids. “The system is very easy to operate: you place the soles in the shoes, activate the WLAN connection, and then you can start ,” Katja Zorn says. All the relevant data such as the date, size, shoe type and existing aids like foot orthoses or aids for the heel-to-toe movement can be stored directly in the measurement dataset via the comment field. “What’s also good is that the patients can take any number of steps with the WLAN sole. A duration of 45 seconds, for example, generates a large amount of data, which is sufficient to obtain plausible and meaningful mean values of the pressure load.”

Karlheinz Wirth, Managing Partner of Wirth GmbH.

In the gait analysis, the heel-to-toe movement , the pressure distribution in the shoe, the step frequencies or the load distribution in the various phases of walking is recorded in detail. The high sensor density and scanning capability of up to 400 Hz make it possible to record both brief load peaks and very fast movements. The respective foot pressure here is always visible in real time on the screen in the form of colored diagrams and can then be printed in color, including the measurement and patient data entered. “You can see from the results straight away exactly which point still has too much pressure. We can then provide targeted relief using an appropriate foot orthosis or shoe modifications,” Katja Zorn says.

Added value in practice

In addition to the WLAN soles, Wirth GmbH also uses procedures such as foot scans and foam imprints, particularly for diabetes-adapted foot cushioning. “These procedures can also be very useful , of course. For example, we fill the foam imprint with foam to have the individual last above this as a basis for the production of the custom-made, diabetes-adapted foot orthoses or therapeutic shoes,” Katja Zorn explains. “The precision, speed and ease of use of the WLAN soles, however, are second to none. The system works reliably.” The conclusion by managing partner Karlheinz Wirth is also positive: “We introduced the WLAN soles because they are more efficient and have more benefits, both for us and for our customers. Once again, we can be true to our motto of ‘A fascination with health’ – and it helps us fulfill our responsibility and passion, namely maintaining and protecting health as our greatest asset.”

Katja Zorn:”The system is very easy to operate: you place the soles in the shoes, activate the WLAN connection, and then you can start.”

Images: Frank Steinhorst


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