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SMARTPIF - "Smart tools for the prescription of orthopaedic insoles and footwear" is a research project financed by the European Commission under the Research for SMEs Theme of 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

The project is based on an identified market gap: podiatrists often lack knowledge and experimental data to decide which specific shoe-insole combination-and their corresponding materials-are suitable for a patient. 

The project aims at developing a set of computer tools to assist a podiatrist in achieving the best therapeutic prescription for a patient. SMARTPIF will provide them with a tool to obtain a prediction of pressures to be exerted in whatever point of the foot during a gait cycle by means of a particular shoe-insole combination and a specific set of materials.

Moreover, the patient will be able to virtually try-on the selected shoes (not yet manufactured/not available at the podiatric clinic). The system will produce technological products and devices to be commercialized and the full integration system: 4D scanning device to digitise the patient's foot in dynamic conditions; software to predict foot pressures and visualise in 3D (over patient's digitised foot); insole design software and a virtual mirror for visualization of selected shoes, superimposed to the real image of the patient.

4 RTDs will lead the RTD activities, under the perspective of the (user and/or market) needs and application possibilities of 4 SMEs that connect the project with the market. They bring together expertise in all required areas: biomechanics, clinical health care treatment, footwear and insoles design and customisation, software development, 3D imaging and scanning, and artificial neural networks.