DIALECT stands for Diabetes Lower Extremity Complication Research and Training Network in Foot Ulcer and Amputation Prevention. DIALECT aims to combat diabetic foot disease through personalised medicine, by establishing an innovative, international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral research and training effort that will deliver the next generation of leading, entrepreneurial and creative scientists to reinforce the European innovative workforce. This is both timely and urgent, illustrated by the burden of diabetic foot disease being in the top-10 of all medical conditions, and emphasized by the fact that every 20 seconds someone in the world loses a leg because of foot disease.
Currently, we lack sufficient success in delivering the right treatment to the right person at the right time to prevent foot ulceration and amputation. We will provide unique world-class interdisciplinary and intersectoral training to a new generation of high-achieving doctoral candidates in the areas of biomechanics, activity behaviour, wearable technology and footwear related to diabetic foot disease. A well-balanced consortium of academic, industry, healthcare and implementation partners will deliver the carefully designed DIALECT training network, comprising training through research, structured network-wide training events, intersectoral secondments and future work skills training.
This will result in a paradigm shift towards personalised medicine that goes beyond state-of-the-art, by developing new personalised risk stratifications, biomechanical foot models, innovative activity and adherence profiles, wearable technology systems for biomechanical and activity monitoring, and personalised optimised footwear intervention products. DIALECT will provide doctoral candidates with a comprehensive skillset capable of delivering high-quality scientific and industry solutions to develop into leading innovators in the European healthcare sector. After completing their project within DIALECT, doctoral candidates are highly employable and ready to engage and lead the next European generation of scientists-entrepreneurs to expedite progress in reducing the patient, societal and economic burden of diabetic foot disease.