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PODIATRAIN arises to generate a learning offer addressed to podiatrists and foot health professionals to complement the learning outcomes of current formal high educational programmes with training in new technologies for diagnoses and treatment of patients. The diversity in formal educational programmes across countries leads to a consequent heterogeneity of podiatry professionals, but the need of gaining knowledge in new technologies for patient assessment and diagnosis is a common issue throughout Europe. The analysis of current education programmes and the associated learning outcomes as well as the professional’s needs has allowed detecting some training gaps:
- Podiatrists learn to diagnose and treat patients with wide range of pathologies, but to provide accurate diagnosis and solution, they need extended and in-depth knowledge of biomechanics inherent to specific patients ‘profiles. They also require skills to perform biomechanical assessment sing latest technological devices. In occasions the treatment fails not because of medical issues, but because of biomechanical issues, which were often not discussed with enough depth during medical training.
- Many lower limb disorders involve the prescription of customized orthoses, requiring accurate acquisition of patient foot shape. Traditional methods (foam impression, plaster casting) are evolving to 3D scanning technologies that allow acquiring foot shape at different loading phases. This leads to improvements in comfort and functionally of the orthoses. In the design and manufacture fields, computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) are emerging techniques that have proven efficacy and excellent results. The increasing affordability of these tools offers significant savings over traditional techniques in terms of customisation, cost and delivery time.
- An optimum treatment requires to know the wide range of biomechanical properties of different materials available in the market in order the orthosis attain the desired performance objectives. The available scientific literature providing comprehensive information about properties, new materials and criteria for the selection of materials is limited. In most cases, choice is subjectively determined based on the experience of the practitioner. Besides, new compounds and fabrication methods have led to an advance in the manufacture of foot orthoses over the last years. Novel materials with improved properties mean some materials popular today will become obsolete, replaced by others invented specifically for use with new manufacturing techniques.
PODIATRAIN project aims to create a European high educational framework to homogenize and improve knowledge of target users in advanced techniques and treatments as well as bring to bear the newest technologies for user assessment, covering the gap between foot care professionals and the continuous advances in the sector. Main beneficiaries of PODIATRAIN will be:
- Students finishing their BSc degree in podiatry
- Foot health practitioners
- Foot surgeons
PODIATRAIN will offer these professionals a number of advantages over widely extended traditional methods providing a route to transform foot health care from an artisan craft into a modern clinical speciality. The project results will contribute to improve the competences of these professionals, widening their labour opportunities. PODIATRAIN will be available in two European languages (English and Spanish).
This transnational action will allow joining and integrating the specific knowledge and expertise of the participating organisations. The resulting course will subsequently benefit patients.