University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Smartphone-based wound assessment system for patients with diabetes

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery

Publication Date


Document Type



Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Diagnosis | Health Communication | Health Services Administration | Plastic Surgery | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases | Telemedicine


Diabetic foot ulcers represent a significant health issue. Currently, clinicians and nurses mainly base their wound assessment on visual examination of wound size and healing status, while the patients themselves seldom have an opportunity to play an active role. Hence, a more quantitative and cost-effective examination method that enables the patients and their caregivers to take a more active role in daily wound care potentially can accelerate wound healing, save travel cost and reduce healthcare expenses. Considering the prevalence of smartphones with a high-resolution digital camera, assessing wounds by analyzing images of chronic foot ulcers is an attractive option. In this paper, we propose a novel wound image analysis system implemented solely on the Android smartphone. The wound image is captured by the camera on the smartphone with the assistance of an image capture box. After that, the smartphone performs wound segmentation by applying the accelerated mean-shift algorithm. Specifically, the outline of the foot is determined based on skin color, and the wound boundary is found using a simple connected region detection method. Within the wound boundary, the healing status is next assessed based on red-yellow-black color evaluation model. Moreover, the healing status is quantitatively assessed, based on trend analysis of time records for a given patient. Experimental results on wound images collected in UMASS-Memorial Health Center Wound Clinic (Worcester, MA) following an Institutional Review Board approved protocol show that our system can be efficiently used to analyze the wound healing status with promising accuracy.


Android-based smartphone, mean shift, patients with diabetes, wound analysis

DOI of Published Version



Wang L, Pedersen PC, Strong DM, Tulu B, Agu E, Ignotz R. Smartphone-based wound assessment system for patients with diabetes. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2015 Feb;62(2):477-88. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2014.2358632. Epub 2014 Sep 17. PMID: 25248175. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering

PubMed ID