To Solesee and its empowering Foot Inspection Mirror - allowing those with diabetes to take control of their foot health.
At Solesee we started our journey to develop a device which made it easier for people with diabetes to check their feet - this isn't always easy due to mobility or flexibility issues.
The question most people ask is why is it important for people to check their feet if they have diabetes?
Quite simply if you have diabetes, there is a higher risk of you developing a foot ulcer if your feet aren't checked regularly enough. This ultimately can result in amputation which sadly, is the case for 169 people every single week in England alone, due to diabetes related complications. (DiabetesUK)
How long has Solesee been available?
We developed and produced the Solesee Foot Inspection Mirror and launched it 5 years ago. The feedback to date has confirmed that Solesee is very easy to use. It has also been very well received and recommended by podiatrists, diabetes nurses and diabetes support groups.
What is the biggest obstacle Solesee needed to overcome?
If you have diabetes it is vitally important you should be checking your feet every day, especially if you suffer from any form of neuropathy (lack of feeling in the feet). Our research shows that awareness of this fact is very low. The perception amongst not only the diabetes community but society as a whole, is that foot health is not that important and could be considered later on if/when a problem occurs.
Who could blame you for thinking this? Diabetes is a highly self-managed and self-medicated condition which exerts relentless hourly demands on you as the patient. Adding another chore to the list may just feel like one too many....
....but sadly the statistics speak for themselves - of the 169 weekly amputations due to diabetic complications, 80% could be prevented.
As a result, at Solesee we are committed to:
Raising awareness of the importance of daily foot checks if you have diabetes.
Encouraging those of you who are at a greater risk of developing diabetes related foot disease, to take control of your foot health.
Educating on the importance on prevention
Providing education on how to look after your foot health
We truly believe that Solesee can play a major role in helping to reduce the devastating impact of diabetes related foot disease when used daily and with advice from your foot health professional. We always recommend that you seek professional advice if you notice any changes as indicated in our "User Guidelines - What should I be looking for on my feet"
The Solesee Foot Inspection Mirror is the easiest way to check the soles of your feet daily and reduce the risk of getting an ulcer in the first place. Our final aim is to ensure that everyone with diabetes knows about, and has access to Solesee.
"To my mind, the Solesee mirror could be a fantastic tool in the drive towards patient empowerment and self management and if adopted widely would certainly reduce the devastating consequences of diabetes related amputation."
Duncan Stang MChS FCPodMed,FFPM RCPS(Glasg)
Diabetes Foot Coordinator for Scotland
Interview with Mark English and how Solesee has positively impacted on his life
We spoke to Mark English about how the Solesee Foot Inspection Mirror helps him care for his feet. Mark is a self employed service engineer and plays in a band in his spare time. He has had diabetes for over 30 years and had a wound on his left foot that wouldn't heal for 2 years and impacted greatly on his ability to work as well as play in the band.
Mark now uses Solesee every day to maintain his foot health - his daily check takes him a minute or two and gives him immense peace of mind.
Please spend a few minutes watching his interview.
We would love to hear from anyone who uses Solesee - any feedback is useful and helpful to share! Either complete the contact sheet at the bottom of the page or contact us via FB or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thankyou.
Mark says if he had had Solesee when he was looking after his wound "I would have seen the wound clearer.....and been able to see where to apply my dressings'
Why was Solesee developed?
Quite simply we developed Solesee to help reduce the number of avoidable foot problems associated with diabetes and other illnesses that can adversely affect your feet.
Sadly, in many cases, people who have diabetes don’t realise that foot health issues are a key concern of their condition. Essentially, if you have diabetes, you should be checking your feet every day.
At Solesee we recognised a few years ago that people with diabetes were not aware that they should be checking their feet or were not checking them often enough to be able to help prevent problems occurring in the first place. A small cut or a blister has the potential to quickly ulcerate and then become infected if not seen and dealt with straight away.
This situation was echoed by podiatrists and specialist shoe fitters that we spoke to.
We quickly realised that there is an overall lack of awareness from people with diabetes that they should be checking their feet every day for any changes - be that a cut or blister, build of dry skin or changes to the general condition of their feet (click here for more information).
Recent statistic from Diabetes UK, indicates that there are now 169 lower limb amputations a week due to diabetes related complications, in England alone, (of which 80% are avoidable).
When we first launched Solesee 5 years ago this figure was 140 - the number of people with diabetes has increased over this time but this increased number also indicates awareness around this issue still needs to dramatically improve.
Foot ulcers and amputations are a huge cost for the NHS, with about £1 in every £140 of NHS spending going towards foot care for people with diabetes.
It is therefore even more important for people with diabetes to not only be aware of the potential danger to their feet but also to start taking responsibility for their foot-health.
Getting help early enough if a problem occurs not only saves money, it can save limbs and lives, as mentioned earlier 80% of all amputations can be avoided.
Carrying out a simple foot inspection task at home, on a daily basis, is the most cost effective way to achieve this.
But we know from research that this is not easy to do. Looking at the whole of the bottom of your foot is tricky, even for the most able bodied and fit amongst us! So at Solesee our aim is to educate and help people to perform this task easily and simply at home, as spotting a potential foot problem is vital in the fight against foot ulcers and amputations – and could be the difference between life and death.
Solesee - developed with patients and professionals in mind.
Trials of the Solesee Foot Inspection Mirror were carried out with both podiatrists and people with diabetes who had existing foot problems relating to their illness. Results from these trials were fed into the design and development of the Solesee mirror now in production.
The potential benefits of the Solesee Foot Inspection Mirror were obvious, even in the early development stages as Jim Tunley, who has Type II diabetes and was involved in the trial for the original design prototype, explains:
“Some months ago I cut the bottom of the big toe on my right foot. The cut was quite small but the lack of circulation due to my diabetes nearly caused me to lose my right leg from just below the knee. When I first saw Solesee I realised straight away that it would have been ideal to enable me to examine my toe very easily. Examining the end of my big toe is a problem. If I had had access to Solesee when I first cut my toe I could have saved myself months of misery and worrying.”
The Solesee Ltd Team
Who Are We?
Solesee Ltd was set up in November 2014 and is a small family run business based in Stratford upon Avon. Husband and wife team David & Hazel Smyth run the business from home, Hazel taking charge of the day to day running of the company.
General Manager and Director of Solesee
Medical footwear specialist with a comprehensive knowledge of common foot problems and footwear solutions.
Extensive New Product Development, Sales & Marketing as well as Production experience gained through time spent working for Unilever and Kraft both in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.
As well as the day to day running of the company, Hazel spends much of her time spreading awareness of the importance of daily foot checks and how Solesee makes this crucial daily task very easy. She presents Solesee during talks to diabetes support groups, podiatry and foot health practitioner groups around the country, reinforcing the importance of good preventative foot health. She is currently working hard to find a way of making Solesee available to all that need the product via channels such as the NHS.
Director of Solesee
David is a Sales and Marketing Specialist with over 30 years experience who ran his own consultancy business for 10 years. During this time he helped companies develop new products, write business plans and develop go-to-market strategies. Previous to this he spent many years working both in the UK, the Netherlands and internationally for Unilever in various Sales and Marketing roles.
Based on his experience with healthcare related products David understands the need for simple but effective products that work best when they become part of a daily routine. It was with this in mind that he helped to develop Solesee.
Designed and manufactured in the UK
Committed to Quality
Solesee was designed, and is manufactured, in the UK. The acrylic, shatterproof mirror is produced in Coventry and the folder is produced and assembled in Essex. We are proud to be supporting UK Businesses.
Where can I go for more advice?
The following organisations are able to offer further help, advice and support based on your specific medical condition or needs.
Dealing with diabetes can be daunting, whether you're newly diagnosed, an old hand, or even if it's someone you know who has the condition. Having someone to talk to can make all the difference.
We are an organisation for people living with diabetes run by people living with diabetes. We recognise that when one person in a family lives with diabetes, this affects other family members and we offer support to partners and parents. We raise awareness of important issues for people with diabetes and provide information in non-medical language.
Diabetes.co.uk is a community of people with diabetes, family members, friends, supporters and carers, offering their own support and first hand knowledge.
Desang is simply about making living with diabetes easier. It’s not a definitive guide to all aspects of diabetes, but brings information about getting on with life while having diabetes. We do a free online magazine.
Award winning shoe shop for people with problem or painful feet. The team at ShoeMed are trained to measure and assess feet to find the perfect shoe for comfort and style. Rocker sole shoes are a speciality to relieve pressure on joints and aid walking. More than just shoes, ShoeMed also stock shoe inserts for arch and metatarsal support and compression socks
Please know you are not alone, at least 400,000 men, women and children in the UK live with lymphoedema/chronic oedema. Whether you are newly diagnosed, are concerned that you may be at risk, live with or care for someone with the condition, or are a Health Care Professional interested in Lymphoedema, the LSN is here for you.
CMT United Kindgom
This website aims to give you all the information you could possibly need to understand Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, and, more importantly, to live with it successfully.
Apart from through our website, Solesee is available from Diabetes UK, IDDT, Amazon, Rompa, Spring Chicken, Connect2Pharma, some private podiatrists and high street retailer ShoeMed.
Thanks for taking the time to look at our website. If you have any questions or comments please either complete the following contact sheet, email or call us - we are only too happy to help!
If you would like Solesee to come to your diabetes support group to talk about the importance of foot health, let us know and we will happily confirm a date with yourselves.
If you are a podiatrist/chiropodist or foot health practitioner and would like to stock Solesee for your patients please get in touch.