Mobile Application for Ulcer Detection

The Open Biomedical Engineering Journal 29 June 2018 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874120701812010016



The number of patients who are suffering from diabetes nowadays is increasing significantly. In some countries, the percentage of population who suffer from this disease can reach up to 20%. Diabetic patients have to deal with their medical conditions and any further complications that this disease may cause. One of the most common conditions is the Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU). The early detection of these ulcers can help and may save the life of diabetic patients.


This work proposes a mobile application for the detection of possible ulcers using a smart phone along with a mobile thermal camera (FLIR ONE). The proposed system captures thermal images of the feet from the thermal camera. The app that identifies ulcers was built using Android studio. The images were acquired to the Samsung S6 smart phone using the FLIR ONE SDK. Image processing techniques were deployed based on Open CV Library. The procedure of detecting possible ulcers was implemented based on analyzing the thermal distribution on the two feet. The developed application compares the difference between the temperature distribution on the two feet and checks if there is a Mean Temperature Difference (MTD) greater than 2.2oC (the value which indicates a possible ulcer development).


The system was tested under simulated conditions by heating different locations of the subjects’ feet to different temperature ranges; one image with temperature less than 2.2oC and another three images with temperature greater than 2.2oC. The system has successfully identified possible ulcer regions along with an image showing the location of the possible ulcers.


This work is a very first step in developing a complete mobile thermal imaging system that can be validated clinically in the future.

Keywords: Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU), Infrared Thermal (IRT) Camera, Red Green Blue (RGB), Mean Temperature Difference (MTD), Thermal Imaging System, Ischemia.
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