In Association with

Dr. Sara Behforootan

receiving her Award from Dr Paul Golby CBE FREng, Chairman of NATS, with Master Engineer Dr Dolores Byrne OBE [image courtesy of Mark Witter Photography]

Project – “No one Left Behind”

(Preventing diabetic amputations by early internal soft tissue injury detection)

Currently, there are more than 4.3 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and 19-34% of them will develop diabetes-related foot ulceration (DFU) in their lifetime. Out of all DFUs, literature reposts that 10-56% will result in amputation. In the UK, approximately 169 people have an amputation due to diabetes every week. Amputation rate in diabetic foot patients is four times higher in disadvantaged UK areas. This magnifies existing health inequalities and creates a cycle of further disadvantage.

This project aims to change the pattern of delayed DFU detection by introducing a novel, objective assessment tool. This tool, leveraging accessible ultrasound technology, facilitates the early identification of DFUs at the stage of internal tissue damage, preceding the development of open wounds. Early detection is crucial as open wounds significantly increase the risk of infection and amplify tissue damage. This non-invasive solution has the potential to improve preventative care and promote equitable healthcare access for all by facilitating early detection of DFUs within primary care or community settings.

If the trial proves successful, the potential for deploying the technique globally would transform the prospects of managing the impact of diabetes in the developing world.

A charitable grant launched in 2023, made by the Worshipful Company of Engineers and UK-based charity for the most creative engineering-based solutions to the alleviation of hardship and poverty.

The Worshipful Company of Engineers Charitable Trust (the Engineers Trust) acknowledges excellence in engineering, supports engineering education and research, gives grants and assists in the relief of hardship and poverty.

Since its inception in 1996 has led a variety of charitable and social enterprise projects.