Introduction: Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are responsible for considerable morbidity, mortality, and cost. Remote temperature monitoring (RTM) is an evidenced-based and recommended component of standard foot care for at-risk patients. Although previous research has demonstrated the value of RTM for foot ulcer prevention, its benefits related to the early identification of diabetic foot complications may be underappreciated.
Objective: This article presents a case series supporting the use of RTM for early identification of DFUs.
Materials and methods: The cases of 4 veteran patients who presented consecutively with inflammation, which was detected by a telemedicine temperature monitoring mat, are reported. The authors collected subjective history from each patient via telephone outreach and triaged these patients according to standard diabetic foot care recommendations.
Results: Each patient required a clinical exam prompted by the mat and the patient's subjective history. In each case, the patient required callus debridement upon which a pre-ulcerative lesion or partial-thickness wound was discovered. The DFUs in these 4 cases healed quickly and without complication. In 2 of the cases, the outreach prompted by the mat reestablished specialist foot care after a prolonged period without routine exam.
Conclusions: In each of these cases, the RTM mat detected inflammation accompanying a preulcerative lesion or a partial-thickness wound, allowing for timely intervention and treatment, including debridement and offloading, which may have the potential to improve care and reduce morbidity, mortality, and costs.