The popular film Back to the Future guessed that we would have hover boards by the year 2016, and while that invention is still being worked on as we begin 2017, there are three other miraculous inventions for the feet set to hit the world this year.
Runner’s World recently featured five new technologies that will make you healthier in 2017, and we’re giving the rundown on three that have the potential to drastically improve the health of your feet.
1. Under Armour’s Fatigue Sensing Shoes
There are already smart shoes that offer GPS capabilities, smart socks that monitor diabetes health and smart baby socks that give continuous updates on a sleeping infant’s temperature, body movement and more. So it should come as no surprise that Under Armour fatigue-sensing shoes are ready to hit the market.
The technologically advanced footwear features what the company calls a “Jump Test”, in which the wearer takes a short break from his or her workout and jumps up and down a couple of times. Sensors inside the sneakers will be able to gauge your level of muscle fatigue, meaning you’ll be better able to adjust your workouts to avoid injuries, shorten recovery time and maximize performance.
Bonus: the shoes — called UA SpeedForm Gemini 3 RE ($160), Velociti RE ($140) and Europa RE ($160) — also act as activity trackers for things like time, distance and pace. Watch for them to be released this February on Under Armour's official website.
2. Artificial Pancreas Implantation
Diabetes patients suffer a plethora of additional foot issues non-diabetics don’t due to nerve damage that leaves patients unable to feel normal sores like blisters and ingrown toenails. These seemingly simple foot issues can quickly become serious problems when left untreated, especially when decreased circulation that often accompanies diabetes comes into play. When the wounds don’t get enough blood flow, they’re unable to heal and often lead to limb amputation.
Fortunately, a new medical advance may significantly cut down on problems related to diabetes. The FDA recently green-lighted the world’s first artificial pancreas that will reportedly be available to patients with type-1 diabetes by the middle of the year.
Diabetes results when your pancreas goes on the fritz and is unable to monitor blood sugar levels and release the hormone insulin when it should. The new artificial pancreases are said to mimic the function of healthy organs and therefore could possibly “cure” diabetes once implanted.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Gut Bacteria Boosting Medications
Numerous studies have been done on how the ecosystem of microorganisms in our gut affects our overall health, and researchers have found that in addition to affecting things like anxiety and weight levels, our microbiome can also affect inflammation throughout the body. With this new information, several companies are looking to release medications in 2017 that strengthen the microbiome and have the ability to reduce inflammation that leads to heart disease and other issues.
Though nothing has been set in stone, it’s only a matter of time before gut bacteria boosting potions are available to help ease inflammation and discomfort from foot issues like plantar fasciitis and ingrown toenails.