Smartphone Telemedicine: A Novel Workflow for Creating Prosthetic Sockets Using Semi-automated Photogrammetry

Abstract—Recent trends in the field of prosthetic technology are shifting towards all-digital approaches. These digital technologies have the potential to augment the current models of clinical healthcare and reach more amputees than currently possible. Unfortunately, most of the equipment needed to design and build digitally shaped prostheses is expensive or requires a high level of expertise. Objective: This paper developed several methods to enable the digital fabrication of prostheses using only low cost tools that do not require extensive specialized training. Methods: The authors built a cell phone application in Android Studio that enables automated collection of image data which can be rendered into accurate 3D-models using photogrammetry on a remote server. They then developed a new protocol to shape these residual limb models into functional prosthetic sockets using the freely available software Autodesk Meshmixer. Results: Finally, the authors ran a case study where they rectified a prosthetic socket for an amputee and compared this model to a socket built by a clinician. Conclusion: This case study showed that these new methods can successfully create accurate and functional prosthetic sockets. Significance: By leveraging ubiquitous low cost smartphone technology, the authors believe that amputees in underserved areas, who currently face large barriers both in cost and physical access to proper care, could soon be able to obtain affordable prosthetic limbs.