Salford project and student brief

Co-designing and delivering a package to support the global use of plantar pressure in referral and determining effectiveness of orthotics for the diabetic foot.

This is a collaborative and interdisciplinary project with industry partner XSENSOR who provide pressure sensing and software across a number of clinical and engineering applications.

Student background

This would suit a student with a clinical background such as prosthetics and orthotics, physiotherapy or podiatry; or a degree in a subject akin to human movement sciences, sport science or rehabilitation.

Experience and knowledge of plantar pressure technologies and clinical management within Diabetes would be a strong advantage.


Diabetes continues to rise in prevalence across the globe and effective management of the diabetic foot is significant challenge for health care services. There is consensus that the use of plantar pressure technology is key to support reductions of amputations from Diabetes. This technology enables both the screening of patients for risk and the assessment of interventions for effectiveness. Despite relatively strong consensus and recognition within international guidelines, the use of plantar pressure systems in clinical settings remains limited worldwide. 

The PhD aims to

  1. Address an identified need for quantifiable criteria in the referral and assessment pathway of orthotic provision in the diabetic foot. 
  2. Work with clinicians to enable more effective implementation of plantar pressure technology into current and future models of clinical practice to inform patient follow-up and decision-making processes.
  3. Evaluate outcomes against the NICE evidence standards framework for digital health technologies and evaluate improvements in referral and intervention pathways, patient reported outcomes, user satisfaction and engagement.