Tue, 01 February, 2022
TWI Hellas takes pride in having SocketSense as its first EU funded research project. Back in January 2019 a consortium: of two SMEs, Nuromedia and Quantum Technology Super Sensors; one large Corporation, Össur; two research organisations, TWI Hellas and Swerea IVF; two Universities, Teesside University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology; and two hospitals, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Servicio Andaluz de Salud started work to develop an innovative, sensor-based socket system. The project’s mission is to relieve lower limb amputees from experiencing pain and discomfort while simplifying the prosthetic fitting process and offering greater mobility.
The SocketSense team are employing real-time monitoring of the residual limb, through embedded sensors in the prosthetic socket, to enable all the necessary information on intra-socket shear and pressure to be gathered. More specifically, the smart sensors will collect information on how the patient wearing the prosthetic moves throughout the day, and subsequently provide the team with reports on the load distribution within the socket. Afterwards, the data will be analysed by deep learning algorithms and visualised by biomechanical 3D modelling algorithms. This allows the physician to assess the prosthetic’s performance in the context of the various risks arising from incorrect loading that could lead to complications such as injuries to the residual limb.
Celebrating three years since its launch, SocketSense is now stepping into its final year, having achieved essential milestones that take the team closer to realising the full potential of the new socket system. So far, the consortium has participated in various events such as the international trade show and congress OTWorld, in 2020, which is– the world's leading event for prosthetics, orthotics and orthopaedic footwear, the Euromicro Conference on Digital System Design 2021 and the International Society of Biomechanics Congress 2021, amongst others. Additionally, collaborative research between partners has led to multiple scientific publications being accepted and published by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). A pilot study for the project has already been completed, and hospital trials are set to be conducted to test the lower limb prosthetic and the effectiveness of the sensor system in 2022.
TWI Hellas’ contribution to SocketSense centres on the design and implementation of an artificial intelligence (AI)-based optimisation toolkit for the socket design as well as the overall system integration.
Mike Karamousadakis, a TWI Hellas Software Engineer on the ground breaking project’s team, comments “Working on the SocketSense project has been a real pleasure, particularly the development of the AI algorithms which are a crucial part of this solution that will be used by patients in real life and subsequently have a high social impact”.