Foot diseases are recognized as a wide societal problem, reducing mobility, social activity and quality of life of the people suffering from it. The occurrence of foot problems, which has been reported at 40%, affects specially the elderly, diabetic and obese people. This means around 202 million European people will suffer some kind of foot abnormality or severe pain. Podiatry can support the wellbeing of these population groups through a twofold strategy of treatment and prevention. As other health care services, podiatry is under significant pressure to provide innovative, effective and timely services. Ageing, advancing technology and the specific needs of different population groups constitute a major challenge for podiatry profession, so responses are needed to support a modern and developing podiatry profession. PODIATRAIN project aim is to create a European high education framework to homogenize and improve knowledge of podiatrists in advanced techniques and treatments as well as bring to bear the newest technologies for user assessment. PODIATRAIN will offer these professionals a number of advantages over traditional methods providing a route to transform podiatry from an artisan craft into a modern clinical speciality. The project results will contribute to improve the competences of these professionals, widening their labour opportunities. PODIATRAIN will be available in two European languages (English and Spanish). PODIATRAIN consortium is formed by three universities and one research and technological centre: Universidad Católica de Valencia (Spain), Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences (Finland), University of Malta (Malta) and Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia (Spain). This consortium has been set up to guarantee the success of the project and its future exploitation beyond the project end. Project partners are experts in the contents to be developed; they have access to current and future podiatry professionals and capability to exploit the course. In addition, they will explore the EQF credit recognition and the introduction of PODIATRAIN outputs into formal education. Academic partners assure representativeness of European formal training programmes, being all of them members of the European Network of Podiatry in Higher Education (ENPODHE). The project PODIATRAIN will have a total duration of 30 months and will be coordinated by the Catholic University of Valencia in the figure of Dr. Javier Torralba. Dissemination, Exploitation, Quality management and Project coordination are activities planned for the management and implementation. PODIATRAIN has associated three intellectual outputs, all of them will be freely accessible through the project website to target users and also for general public interested on them:
- Curriculum of PODIATRAIN course
- Formative contents and complementary materials of PODIATRAIN course
- PODIATRAIN on-line course
Podiatrists will be the main beneficiaries of the course, but other target groups will be students finishing their bachelor's degree in podiatry and other foot health practitioners as foot&ankle surgeons. Around 87.000 European podiatrists will have the opportunity to improve their skills, acquiring more competences based on advanced techniques and treatments as well as on the use of new technologies for better assessment and diagnosis of patients. Patients will indirectly benefit of receiving more accurate diagnosis and improved treatments based on latest research and technologies. In addition, as PODIATRAIN intends to homogenize best practices among European podiatrists, this will directly benefit patients throughout Europe.