Welcome to the PreventDFU project (FlowOxTM) website 


Development of a Device for Prophylaxis and Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers for use at Home and in Nursing Home



The PreventDFU Project

The PreventDFU project will develop an advanced prototype for prophylaxis and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). This condition contributes to morbidity and loss of Quality of Life (QoL) of Diabetes Mellitus sufferers. The project is based on proprietary pulsating negative pressure technology and will result in a prototype to be used at home or in nursing homes, for treatment and prevention of DFUs.


The Need

Over 55Mn Europeans between 20 and 79 years of age are currently suffering from diabetes, 55% above 60 years old. The incidence of diabetes is expected to grow as the population ages. Diabetes sufferers have a 12 to 25% lifetime risks of developing a DFU. Over 8Mn Europeans could suffer from DFU in their lifetime. A dramatic display of DFU is lower limb amputation; 85% of the amputations in diabetes sufferers are reported after unsuccessful DFU treatment amounting to 290,000 - 450,000 amputations per year, at an annual cost in the order of €2 – 2.5Bn.


The Innovative Solution

Introducing PreventDFU technology for home and nursing home use for primary purpose of DFU prophylaxis during sleeping hours and for the secondary purpose of assistive therapy of mild DFUs may reduce DFU incidence in the elderly and prevent a significant number of DFU-related toe, foot and leg amputations. If PreventDFU technology can only help 5% of the DFU sufferers, this would mean substantial QoL improvement for over 400,000 Europeans and over 2 Mn sufferers worldwide, substantially reduced associated healthcare costs.  PreventDFU technology could benefit elderly pressure ulcer (PU) suffers by providing timely prophylaxis by increasing the blood flow in the legs; it has been reported that 95% of all pressure ulcers occur in the lower part of the body while 70% of those occur in persons over 65 years of age.

The Technology

The project will improve an already tested technology previously used to cool or heat patients. The goal of the current project is to modify existing devices into a totally new device called FlowOxTM. The device works by applying mild negative oscillating pressure pulses on the skin of a limb. This dramatically increases blood flow to the skin. The increased blood flow will improve oxygenation of the tissue and thereby prevent wounds to form and/or improve the healing process for chronic ulcers. 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme managed by REA-Research Executive Agency under grant agreement no. 286709.