An Irish start-up company, called FeelTect, has received a special grant to continue developing the ‘Tight Alright’ technology for a medical device designed to sense pressure and treat venous leg ulcers. To understand why and how it will work, we must first explore what causes venous leg ulcers.
What are Venous Leg Ulcers and Why Do They Form?
Venous leg ulcers are chronic wounds that develop because of venous insufficiency, a condition in which your body cannot circulate blood from your lower limbs. Venous insufficiency sets in when tiny valves in your veins stop working well. Instead of forcing blood back up towards the heart, blood pools up in your legs. Your veins then get stretched out and fluid builds up in your lower limbs.
You may be at risk for venous leg ulcers if you:
- Have an increased body mass index (BMI)
- Have a sedentary lifestyle
- Have high blood pressure,
- Have venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or a family history of these conditions.
Treating Venous Leg Ulcers
One of the first treatments for these kinds of ulcers is compression therapy. The pressure placed on the veins in your lower legs can help get pooling blood out of the area, taking the pressure off your bulging veins and making the excess fluid less likely to contribute to existing ulcers, or to allow new ones to develop.
Still compression therapy isn’t perfect. If doctors apply too much pressure, it can cut off all circulation to your limbs. Not enough pressure, and the treatment will be wholly ineffective. And, since compression devices cover the area being treated, it can be tough for doctors to determine just how much pressure is being delivered to your veins.
The Tight Alright device is intended to work in conjunction with compression therapy. Using wireless technology, the device measures and monitors the amount of pressure being delivered to your leg beneath the compression bandages.
When vein specialists are armed with this kind of information, they can easily adjust compression bandages to appropriate levels, keeping you safe while speeding up your healing times. As vein specialists in the Houston area, we will be watching this and other developing technology, so we can always deliver the most up-to-date care for all our patients who are living with vein disease.