Mitacs Accelerate partnership leads to development of high-tech diabetic insoles

Calgary-based medical device company addresses growing epidemic

By 2020, it is estimated that diabetes will cost the Canadian healthcare system $16.9 billion a year. In response, Calgary-based Orpyx Medical Technologies is developing a product that is garnering the attention of the diabetes technology community. The SurroSense Rx is a pressure sensitive insole that relays plantar pressure information to a wristwatch, notifying the user when damage is being done to their feet so that behavior can be modified to avoid complications. By providing alternate feedback when excessive pressure thresholds have been met, the device will provide an effective self-management tool to help reduce the incidence of complications.

With the help of Mitacs Accelerate intern, Talia Webber, a Master’s student at the University of Calgary’s Department of Kinesiology, Orpyx is performing research to evaluate the device’s ability to accurately measure foot pressures, an important step in the development and commercialization of the product.

As a pre-revenue medical development device company, Orpyx’s partnership with Mitacs Accelerate has been extremely beneficial. “The testing that the Mitacs Accelerate program has enabled us to pursue is critical in the validation of our product. As an early-stage start-up, every dollar counts. It has undoubtedly enabled us to maximize our financing and push our corporate timeline ahead. Beyond this, the funding supports a critical transitional area between academia and industry that is often overlooked by traditional funding sources,” says Dr. Breanne Everett, CEO and President of Orpyx.

For Talia, the internship has provided the industry-related research experience she was looking for. “The Mitacs Accelerate program has exposed me to innovative, hands-on research, and enabled me to gain insight towards future career options outside of academia. I’m excited to see what my future holds.” The SurroSense Rx is slated to hit the market in November 2012.

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and Alberta Innovates for their support of the Accelerate research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Accelerate program also receives support from the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan, and Research Manitoba.

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