The View from Europe's Biggest Podiatry Market

At the College of Podiatry Annual Conference in Bournemouth, United Kingdom, orthotic and orthopaedic medical device producers shared their latest product offerings. The growth of the orthopaedic insole market in the UK was illustrated by the increase in producers stands. These producers all had one pain point in common, extremely fragmented workflows. GROM was the first and only solution they’d ever seen that solved this problem.

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The College of Podiatry Conference in Bournemouth was a historical moment for GROM. There were two first time experiences for us: 1) having a stand at a major podiatry fair; and 2) introducing our product to a European market. Luckily the team and our UK reseller had laid the groundwork for this conference through quality research. When walking across the venue their findings were instantly vindicated.

The exhibition showcased a plethora of digital technologies, ranging from 3D scanners to 3D printers. Mobile 3D scanning hardware was especially visible. Historically, podiatrists have been using plaster casts to get a representation of their patients feet. This representation is then used as the blueprint for producing an insole. In order to speed (and clean up) this process, producers have been introducing 3D scanning technology. When talking to producers and glancing through the software which powers their 3D scanners, pain points quickly became apparent.

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Throughout the last few months we have been writing a range of articles covering the communication fragmentation, challenges for clinicians, and producers. We heard the same challenges over and over from all the producers we had the pleasure of meeting. Their existing solutions are highly fragmented and inefficient. An app for scanning, a pdf for prescriptions, email for updates, and whatsapp or calls for urgent problems. A few producers had previously invested in their own basic platform. After spending a fortune, little results and a major headache, they were left with an outdated and limited solution.

The medical device industry in the field of podiatry has taken the first step into the digital age when it comes to measuring and mapping patients. The user experience of both prescribing clinicians and producers remains somewhat of an afterthought. Why? Because the major players are heavily invested in legacy hardware that requires constant fixes. Luckily GROM is filling that void.

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