Thermographic Image Processing for Improved Prosthetic Fit

Tech ID:

Using an infrared imaging device, coupled with specialized image processing methods, this technology will allow prosthetists to better design and improve the fit of the prosthetic socket on the patient.  The technology will enable the clinician to identify and prevent sites of skin irritation which are a major concern when fitting a patient with a new prosthetic.



It is estimated that approximately 2 million Americans are amputees, and the yearly incidence of limb amputation in the US is 185,000. The most common causes of amputation are vascular diseases, trauma, and cancer. Although many of these amputees continue their lives after amputation without the use prosthetics, prosthetics can improve the quality of life of many amputees by restoring much of the functionality of the lost limb, such as locomotion.


Prosthetics technology has improved drastically over the past few decades, but there is still much room for improvement in the field. One of the most common issues clinicians and patients face is the fitting of a prosthetic to the residual limb site. The site at which a prosthetic can be attached to the residual limb has unique, often subtle differences between each patient. An ill-fitting prosthetic socket can be painful to wear and irritate the skin of the residual limb. Sites of irritation can eventually develop into ulcerations which can become infected and require further care, or worse, further amputation. Moreover, patients suffering from vascular diseases are often unable to even feel these sites of irritation due to neuropathy. By having a prosthetic socket custom designed or modified by the prosthetist, many of these complications can be avoided, and a patient's experience with the prosthetic can be improved overall.  


Commercial Applications & Advantages:

  • Improves the fit and functionality of the prosthetic
  • Allows the patient to wear the prosthetic for longer periods of time
  • Reduces the rate of secondary injury and infection
  • Provides quantitative feedback to the prosthetist.
  • Enables prosthetists to analyze and improve the fit of a prosthetic before a patient leaves their clinic


For information contact:
John Fritz
Sr. Business Development Manager
James Schroeder
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Patent Information:

United States - Utility

Patent No.

Status: Pending