Facial erythema detects diabetic neuropathy using the fusion of machine learning, random matrix theory and self organized criticality

Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 8;10(1):16785. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-73744-3.


Rubeosis faciei diabeticorum, caused by microangiopathy and characterized by a chronic facial erythema, is associated with diabetic neuropathy. In clinical practice, facial erythema of patients with diabetes is evaluated based on subjective observations of visible redness, which often goes unnoticed leading to microangiopathic complications. To address this major shortcoming, we designed a contactless, non-invasive diagnostic point-of-care-device (POCD) consisting of a digital camera and a screen. Our solution relies on (1) recording videos of subject's face (2) applying Eulerian video magnification to videos to reveal important subtle color changes in subject's skin that fall outside human visual limits (3) obtaining spatio-temporal tensor expression profile of these variations (4) studying empirical spectral density (ESD) function of the largest eigenvalues of the tensors using random matrix theory (5) quantifying ESD functions by modeling the tails and decay rates using power law in systems exhibiting self-organized-criticality and (6) designing an optimal ensemble of learners to classify subjects into those with diabetic neuropathy and those of a control group. By analyzing a short video, we obtained a sensitivity of 100% in detecting subjects diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy. Our POCD paves the way towards the development of an inexpensive home-based solution for early detection of diabetic neuropathy and its associated complications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / complications
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / diagnosis*
  • Erythema / etiology*
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin*