THIS IS NOT "GOODBYE", IT IS JUST A "SEE YOU LATER"
The SOHEALTHY project has finished in August. Since the project got started in 2013, we have achieved very interesting results and organised many events related to foot health and the footcare sector. We hope that our efforts have helped to advance one step more towards the creation of a more developed and cohesive sector. This has been a wonderful experience for us and we would like to thank all those people and organisations that have joined the expert community for their support and make this project a reality.
Despite the project has finished, we think that it is worth continuing working on the network of experts and professionals created, which is growing more and more. To this end, we are pleased to inform you that we have created an innovative and interactive platform where the members will be able to read and publish global news related to the sector, comment on them, create groups, inform –and be informed- about training courses, seminars, conferences, etc, publish and/or participate in on-line brainstorming sessions, etc. This platform, called SOHEALTHY-ClaveInova, represents a great opportunity for the professionals of the footcare sector to interact with each other, receive sectoral- high quality- information and inform other professionals about their activity. So, thanks to the SOHEALTHY platform, we do not say "goodbye", we just say "see you later".
You can access this platform by clicking on the following link or through the SOHEALTHY website, where you will find a banner with a link to the platform (at the top right side). You can also install a plug-in to share the information in a simple way, from Google Chrome browser, or from an Android phone.
FINAL CONFERENCE OF THE SOHEALTHY PROJECT
Under the title of "Innovation and advanced technologies at the service of the foot health: prevention, diagnosis, design and materials", the final conference of the SoHealthy project was held the 20th and 21st of July in Elda, Spain. This event was organised jointly with INGA 3D and EXPLORE projects, two related European projects. INGA 3D is focused on 3D technologies' innovative solutions related to CAD footwear design. EXPLORE aims to promote the use of knowledge in developing advanced products and services to address manufacturing industries' challenges and needs. This event had a special focus on the final results of the SOHEALTHY project and most specially, the Strategic Research Agenda. This is the main project outcome and contains research priorities for the footcare industry in the following years focussing on the needs of people with diabetes, obesity and older people.
The event was a success, with the registration of more than 160 people, from 7 EU-Med countries.The participants were able to listen to international renowned speakers from the biomechanics and foot health world, who presented the latest advances on several research topics. In addition, the participants received information about the latest trends in foot health and footwear and were able to attend practical workshops and technical sessions on Footwear CAD design and related tools. The conference finished with an interesting brokerage event where some researchers and experts presented new research and development proposals.
All the presentations given during the final conference are available from the private area of the SOHEALTHY Website.
THE SOHEALTHY PROJECT HAS PUBLISHED ITS STRATEGIC RESEARCH AGENDA FOR THE FOOTCARE SECTOR (2015-2020)
Since the SOHEALTHY Project “Mediterranean Research Network on Footcare Sector” got started in 2013, one of its most important goals has been the development of a Strategic Research Agenda that contains the most important research priorities for the footcare sector in the following five years (2015-2020). With that aim, within the framework of the project, five multidisciplinary working groups were created with the participation of more than 35 professionals from different segments of the value chain, including footcare professionals, researchers, industrialists and academic experts, who - during six months- have worked on the identification of the footcare industry’s challenges, opportunities, research priorities and the related industry innovations.
This document, titled “A strategic research agenda for the footcare sector (2015-2020)” is a reference document that it is worth reading and it has taken into consideration the view and contents of other relevant research agendas, as it is the case of the Strategic Research Roadmap published by the PROsumer.NET platform or that prepared by the European Factories of the Future Research Association.
The full document it is available at the private area of the SOHEALTHY project. ("publications" section)
Promoting the WORLD FOOT HEALTHY AWARENESS Month
May is the World Foot Health Awareness Month, and so the SOHEALTHY project would like to contribute to this cause by informing you about the awareness-raising efforts that relevant worldwide organisations are making to increase awareness of the importance of foot health among the general public and health professionals.
This is the case of the Institute for Preventive Foot Health (IPFH), who is a SOHEALTHY network member, and a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizationcommitted to raising awareness about the importance of caring for the feet through education, research and the identification of methods demonstrated by clinical research to prevent, treat and manage painful conditions and diseases (such us diabetic foot syndrome) affecting the feet, mobility, functional status and quality of life.
Over the past six months, this American organisation has made strong awareness-raising efforts that are worth mentioning. For example, it has supported the development of a Continuing Medical Education course for the American Academy of Physicians Assistants on how to do a diabetic foot exam (find here more information), it has contributed to the article "AFOs and interfaces: The important role of socks," by IPFH scientific advisory board member Harry Brandt, CO, to Lower Extremity Review (see here the article). It has also contributed to the interesting blog "Don't Forget the Feet: The Importance of Foot Exams in Primary Care" by IPFH scientific advisory board member Lori Weisenfeld, DPM, to Primary Care Progress (find here more info). This is an interesting blog for physicians and patients that has thousands of visitors daily.
The SOHEALTHY Project would like to thank IPFH and other relevant organisations for their efforts in raising awareness of these important diseases, that has important economic, social and human repercussions all over the world. We are convinced that we need to work together to overcome global challenges, because if everyone does one’s bit we can really face it.
SOHEALTHY project has organised - jointly with other six European projects - the “Innovation Week” in Casablanca, from 2nd to 5th March.
The week beginning on 2nd March, seven EU projects related to the Research to Innovation (R2I) programme, including SOHEALTHY, have organised together the Innovation Week, a series of workshops, training sessions, round-tables and a brokerage event related to innovation. Some of the events were sector-specific (mostly energy and health-related) whereas others had to do with more general topics, such as a training seminar on Horizon 2020 and the training session on Business&Innovation in the Mediterranean area.
On 2nd March, the Centre Marocain des Techniques du Cuir (CMTC), SOHEALTHY project partner, organised a workshop on project results entitled “Fostering innovation in the footcare sector”. This workshop, which was focused on issues of major importance for the Government and the population in general, such us diabetic foot, obese foot and foot conditions especially affecting the older people, counted on the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industry of Morocco. Also, key speakers participated in the event, such as Ms. Hind Benziane, President of the Scientific Moroccan Association of Podiatrists (AMSP), Ms.Fatima Chaabi, Director of Podomar, an orthopaedic footwear manufacturer located in France, Dr. Carina Price, researcher in the University of Salford (UK) and Dr. Mohamed Khlafa, endocrinologist and President of the Moroccan Federation of Diabetics. The speakers contributed to present the situation of diabetes, obesity and ageing in Morocco, in relation with foot health, and how these pathologies are treated in general, presenting figures and statistics that highlighted the importance of undertaking urgent measures that would lead to a better prevention and treatment of these pathologies and conditions.
On 4th March, the SOHEALTHY project, together with MENFRI project, organised the seminar “Horizon 2020: an insight into the EU framework programme for research and innovation”, where more than 40 participants received information about the general structure of Horizon 2020 EU programme, the available instruments and rules of participation, financial aspects, next calls for proposals, etc. In this sense, Mr. Enrique Doblas and Ms. Victoria Barrantes, coordinators of the MENFRI and SOHEALTHY projects respectively, welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of being trained in the new EU framework programme for research and innovation in order to find interesting funding opportunities that lead to new opportunities for collaboration. Furthermore, Ms. Cristina Puche, of Cluster Calzado Innovación S.L., a Spanish footwear industry association, explained the attendees the Life cycle of an H2020 project, froma project idea to a project proposal, including useful practical and administrative aspects necessary for preparing a proposal, useful tools for partner search, the EU participant portal and other useful tips for writing a successful proposal. In addition, taking into account that local partners of FP7 EU projects were present, Ms. Cristina Puche also presented practical information on FP7 project reporting and financial aspects of EU-funded projects. Ms. Elena Melotti and Mr. Gianluca Rossi, representatives of Warrant Group (Italy), contributed as speakers with other presentations related to Horizon 2020, showing the general structure of the programme, giving some examples and statistics and informing those present about the next H2020 calls for proposals that may be of interest for Mediterranean Partners Countries (MCPs).
The seminar concluded with the presentation of 3 success cases by Moroccan and Tunisian speakers involved in EU-funded projects, these were: Mr. Aissam Malouk (CMTC, Casablanca), Ms. Nadia Somai (CNCC, Tunisia) and Ms. Rachida Naafa. The speakers explained the advantages of participating in EU projects as well as main barriers found, according to their experience.
The SOHEALTHY project gathered key experts of the Moroccan footcare sector in a workshop held in Casablanca, on 2nd March.
As part of the Innovation Week – an initiative led by seven R2I EU projects in Casablanca– the Centre Marocain des Techniques du Cuir (CMTC), SOHEALTHY project partner, organised the workshop “Fostering innovation in the footcare sector”, on 2nd March. This seminar counted on the presence of representatives from the Moroccan Ministry of Health and Ministry of Industry. The session was opened by Mr. M. Youssef Zmirili, Director of the CMTC, and Ms. Victoria Barrantes, technical coordinator of the SOHEALTHY project, who also presented the main project results achieved so far. After that, Ms. Hind Benziane, president of the Scientific Moroccan Association of Podiatrists (AMSP) spoke about the situation of the footcare sector in Morocco and the diabetic foot syndrome treatment. Next, Ms.Fatima Chaabi, Director of Podomar, a company specialised in the manufacturing of orthopaedic footwear, located in France, gave the attendees a general overview of the actions taken for treatment and prevention of the diabetic foot condition. In addition, Dr. Carina Price, researcher from the University of Salford (UK), gave two presentations related to foot problems in older people and the use of biomechanics to advance footwear and orthotic design. During her speech Dr. Carina Price presented the latest technologies used in footwear and orthotic design and explained the main problems related to ageing and the consequences on the feet, giving some recommendations for the design of footwear addressed at the older people. Finally, Dr. Mohamed Khlafa, endocrinologist and President of the Moroccan Federation of Diabetics, spoke about obesity in Morocco and its impact on the foot, highlighting the importance a healthy balanced diet to decrease the obesity rates in Morocco.
From the different presentations it was concluded that the prevalence of diabetes as well as obesity, represent a serious epidemic with important consequences for people and governments. Figures speak by themselves, more than 2 million people in Morocco suffer from diabetes and more than 10 million people are obese or overweight. A high percentage of diabetics will develop diabetic foot syndrome, which if it is not correctly treated may lead to foot ulcers, foot amputation and finally death. Both pathologies are strongly connected, as 90% of diabetics are also obese in Morocco and, at the same time, obese people have a higher risk of developing diabetes mainly due to metabolic syndrome. Ageing is also connected with obesity and diabetes, as insulin resistance increases with age and there are some other changes that lead to a higher risk of having obesity, as for example, changes in body composition or a higher rate of sedentary lifestyle. Despite the seriousness of this situation, there are only 20 podiatrists in Morocco, who followed their studies in other countries, as there is no specific training on podiatry in Morocco, and there are no podiatry units in local Hospitals involving specialised professionals. In addition, the Moroccan health system does not cover the cost of orthopaedic shoes, which are too expensive for the 90% of population, and it partially covers the cost of the insoles, depending on each patient’s insurance coverage. Therefore, it is considered necessary to undertake some important measures that lead to a better treatment and prevention of the diabetic foot syndrome as well as other foot conditions. Some of these measures would include the development of a university degree in podiatry in order to train new podiatrists, the creation of specific podiatry units in hospitals, patient education through the development of a higher number of awareness campaigns and a higher financial support from the Ministry of Health and the Government so that orthopaedic shoes and the related components are fully or partially covered by the health system.
The SOHEALTHY project visited the Centre Hospitalier Noor in Morocco and a private clinic, on 3rd March.
On 3rd March, the SOHEALTHY project partners visited the Centre Hospitalier Noor, a private hospital focused on re-education and functional rehabilitation located in Bouskoura, near Casablanca, which treats around 500 patients per year. The Centre Hospitalier Noor is the only hospital in Morocco that provides orthopaedic services and employs two orthopaedic technicians and one podiatrist. This was the last visit in a series of exchange visits programmed throughout the SOHEALTHY project. The final aim of these actions is to get a better understanding of the footcare sector situation in the different countries. Ms. Hind Benziane, President of the Moroccan Association of Podiatrists (AMSP), and Ms. Fatima Lotfi, podiatrist at NoorHospital and general secretary of the AMSP, showed the different parts of the hospital. The visit ended with a meeting with Ms. Baha Rabi, Chief Doctor of the hospital, who kindly welcomed the project partners and positively assessed the work being carried out by the SOHEALTHY project.
The European SoHealthy project will gather together 30 experts from different European and Mediterranean countries
Under the auspices of the European project “Mediterranean Research Network on Footcare Sector – SOHEALTHY”, some of the most relevant footcare researchers and professionals will meet in Barcelona on 11-12 February. The participants come from different Euro-Mediterranean countries and are collaborating in the multidisciplinary working groups created in the framework of the project for the development of a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). The SRA focuses on meeting the needs of patients with conditions related to the diabetic foot syndrome, obesity and ageing, thus prioritising the current and future R&D needs of the footcare sector to be translated into high added value products.
The main objective of this meeting is to finalise the definition of the priority research lines that have been identified by each working group over the recent months, which respond to the challenges and needs of the sector. Also new European project proposals based on such priority lines will be considered to be submitted to future Horizon 2020 calls.
Venue: Hotel Meliá SKY - Carrer Pere IV, 272, 08005 Barcelona
Dates: 11th and 12th February 2015
The SoHealthy project GROWS thanks to its valuable contributors throughout the world
Recently, the SOHEALTHY Project has managed to organise important collaborations with relevant organisations and technology platforms in the Eu-Med area and other countries like the USA. This is helping the SOHEALTHY project increase its impact, reaching more people and professionals related to the footcare sector.
It is worth mentioning the following organisations:
- IPFH, Institution for Preventive Foothealth is an American non-profit private foundation committed to raising awareness about the importance of caring for the feet through education, research and the identification of methods demonstrated by clinical research to prevent, treat and manage painful conditions and diseases affecting the feet, mobility, functional status and quality of life. Thanks to the collaboration with IPFH, information about the SOHEALTHY Project has been published in the Journal on Active Ageing, a publication of the International Council on Active Ageing, which is one of IPFH's educational partners. This way, this renown organisation is helping the SOHEALTHY project extend foot health awareness to other countries throughout the world, like the USA.
- PROsumer.NET, The Design-based Consumer Goods Cross-ETP (European Technology Platform), which has recently been officially recognised by the European Commission, is a European consumer goods research initiative that started in 2009 as a European project. Since then, the PROsumer.NET initiative has provided the consumer goods sector with valuable information, such as the development of a research Roadmap, among others. The SOHEALTHY project will be one of the sponsors of a public conference that will take place in Brussels on 15th -16th October. Such conference will focus on the next steps in the PROsumer.NET initiative and the SOHEALTHY project results, among other European project results.
- MANU-KET, the Spanish Technological Platform for Advanced Manufacturing, is a technological platform that tries to identify the technological needs of future products and services, for which the incorporation of advanced materials, microelectronics, photonics and nanotechnologies require new processes, equipment and production systems. This organisation has recently expressed its interest in collaborating with the SOHEALTHY project, which will periodically report about the results achieved.
First-year results of the SoHealthy project
It has been one year since the SOHEALTHY Project “Mediterranean Research Network on Footcare Sector” got started. At that time, the project partners realised that they were faced with a very ambitious challenge and they were determined and eager to deal with it. Since then, the work has been really intense and enriching, and the efforts are producing results thanks to the hard work of the partners and the collaboration of the people and organisations that have believed in our project, as well as all those that have joined the experts community. It is worth mentioning that without the support of the European Commission, the SOHEALTHY project would have never come true.
Consequently, the SOHEALTHY project team wants to express its gratitude towards those that have made it possible that the SOHEALTHY project is now a reality.
The main project results achieved during the first year are as follows:
> 130 experts have joined our experts community
14 Countries involved
90 current/future research trends identified
2 Seminars in Spain and Tunisia
1 Network Event in Manchester
5 working groups
> 7,000 Web visits
3 Exchange visits in UK, Spain and Italy
> 90 publications and press releases
SoHealthy Workshop on project results.Tunisia, September 23rd 2014
Coinciding with the 1st year of the SoHealthy project, a workshop on project results will take place in Tunisia next september 23rd. The event will be hosted by the Centre National du Cuir et de la Chaussure (Tunisia), one of the project partners, and it will be focused on the results achieved since the project started last September.
At the moment, the Sohealthy expert community has more than 120 members from more than 10 different countries and it continues to grow! Experts’ profile is very diverse, as there are healthcare professionals, podiatrists, researchers, manufacturers, patient associations, public bodies, etc. This provides added-value to the network as interesting discussions may arise, which will provide different points of view. See the list of experts
In addition, the project has already started with the creation of 5 working groups that will cover the research fields defined in the "State of the art analysis" carried out within the first six months of the project. Main objective will be the development of a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), which is expected to be delivered in January 2015.
The agenda of the event can be seen next:
- Welcome and introduction – Pr. Catherine Dziri, Chief of service, Physical Medicine, National Orthopaedic Institute Mohamed Kassab
- Welcome and introduction – Mr. Bouzouada, Director of the Centre National du Cuir et the la Chaussure (CNCC)
- Presentation of the SOHEALTHY Project – Dr. Enrique Montiel, SOHEALTHY project coordinator, INESCOP
- Main Project results up to now and forthcoming activities– Ms. Victoria Barrantes, Technical Coordinator, INESCOP
- Understanding patients’ needs – Pr. Chris Nester, Leader of the Foot and Ankle Research Programme. School of Health Sciences, USAL
- Understanding the needs of the industry – Ms. Naïma Sanaa, Technical assistance & advisory manager, CNCC
- Seeing towards the future: the Strategic Research Agenda – Mr. Mauro Tescaro, Director of Politecnico Calzaturiero
- SOHEATHY working groups: brief presentation – Mr. My Youssef Zmirili, Director of the Centre Marocain des Techniques du Cuir Association
- Open questions and discussion
SoHealthy project: Workshop held inTunisia
In the framework of the SOHEALTHY project, a one-day workshop was held last June 18th at the National Orthopaedic Institute M.Kassab, in Tunisia. The event was organised by The Centre National du Cuir et de la Chaussure (CNCC) and counted with the special collaboration of Prof. Catherine Dziri, head of Department of Physical Medicine- Functional Rehabilitation at the National Orthopaedic Institute M.Kassab, and it was attended by over 30 relevant experts, mainly podiatrists, clinicians and health professionals. The objective was to gather the experts’ opinion and view about the technology areas identified in the document “State of the art of the most relevant technology areas within the footcare sector”, available in the website’s internal area, prioritising them and establishing the timeframe for each one.
The results showed that the research areas that obtained a higher impact on patient’s needs are microbiology, followed by biomechanics and CAD/CAM technologies and the research areas of higher technology relevance are microbiology, biomechanics and trials. These results are quite similar to those obtained in the seminar held in Spain, where there were 15 relevant podiatrists. The methodology followed and conclusions obtained are explained in a report that will be available soon on the Website.
The results of this workshop will be compiled with other results obtained from other seminars and workshops, as those obtained from the seminar held in Spain.
SoHealthy project was present at INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES 2014. Athens, Greece (9-11 April 2014)
The 2014 Industrial Technologies conference was organised in Athens, Greece on April 9-11th 2014. The event took place during the Greek Presidency of the European Council, and followed on from the previous successful Industrial Technologies events in Brussels in 2010 and in Aarhus in 2012.
“SoHealthy” project coordinator, INESCOP, was present at this event, trying to make known its results and enlarge the scope ot the SOHealthy community of experts.
Conference on Footwear and Orthotic Research & Innovation for Healthier Feet (Feb 26th 2014)
Hosted by the University of Salford this one day conference was organised as part of the EU wide “SoHealthy” project supporting research and innovation in footwear and orthotics.
With special focus on the needs of people with diabetes, obesity and older people, the agenda was to:
- share knowledge of the foot and lower limb problems that can be addressed with footwear and orthotics
- share knowledge of the services and products available in the UK and EU-Mediterranean countries
- hear the what clinicians and industrialists consider to be future priorities
- explore what is “state of the art” in terms of foot problems, solutions and services for those foot problems.
- develop a shared vision for the future research and education priorities for the footwear and orthotics sector.
- Professor Chris Nester, University of Salford
- Professor Wesley Vernon OBE, Chair Healthy Footwear Group
- Professor Jim Woodburn, Glasgow Caledonian University
- Dr Enrique Montiel, INESCOP, Spain
- Dr Stewart Morrison, University of East London
- Julie Byron, Diabetes UK
- Dr Farina Hashmi, University of Salford
- Dr Anita Williams, University of Salford
- Simon Dickinson, Chair, NOMag - NHS in-house orthotic managers group
- Colin Hurley, Chair, Orthotic section of the British Healthcare Trades Association
- Dr Jane McAdam, Chair, UK Footwear Specialist Interest Group
A report on the results of this event has been published on "Publications section". If you want to see it please log in.