An optical wound monitor that is based on diffuse near infrared spectroscopy (DNIRS) was used to interrogate twenty human diabetic foot ulcers. Weekly measurements were conducted until there was wound closure, limb amputation or 20 completed visits without healing. Wound size and degree of wound contraction were measured by image analysis of digital photographs and the results were compared with the NIRS results. Temporal changes of oxy- and total hemoglobin concentration were significantly different in healing versus nonhealing wounds.