Thermography in Human Medicine

Infrared camera systems make imaging of body temperature possible

The body temperature is an essential indicator for people’s health, and thus, much attention has been given to its determination. Measuring temperature with infrared camera systems comes with particular advantages for doctors as well for patients. As a non-contact and non-invasive diagnostic procedure, thermography is patient-friendly and does not only provide punctual temperature measurement but gives a detailed image of patients’ body temperature distribution.

Thermography is a flexible and budget-friendly diagnostic method

Since multiple disease patterns can be diagnosed through information on the body´s  temperature distribution, thermography represents a highly flexible procedure which is, in comparison to other processes in medical engineering, budget-friendly. Thermographic diagnoses are often connected with an irritation of the body. Thus, on applying regulation thermography, affected body parts are exposed to a cold stimulus. Healthy body regions and organs balance out this intervention on the body-heat in another way than unhealthy ones. This process is, for instance, typical for the early detection of breast cancer. However, also the correct positioning of an acupuncture needle can be controlled by an infrared camera since heat development might differentiate depending on whether the needle has been placed on the right spot or not.

Human Medicine - Hands before the regulation
Human Medicine - Hands after the regulation

Case Study

Thermal image before treatment

Using VarioCAM® Series in Medicine

For centuries the body temperature has been a vital indicator helping doctors to diagnose illnesses. Originally he would rely on his experience to sense if a patient had an elevated temperature, but with the invention of the thermometer a quantifiable measurement could be made. Even with the use of a thermometer only an indication of a spot temperature can be obtained. Infrared thermography provides the complete picture, non-invasive temperature measurement of the complete body part.

Thermal Resolution of Infrared Camera Systems Determines a Successful Analysis

On applying thermography for medical diagnosis, a question arises in terms of thermal resolution, which is the infrared camera’s ability to detect smallest differences in temperature. Minimal differences in degrees Celsius (hundredth of a degree) can be a crucial factor for a successful diagnosis. InfraTec provides with its VarioCAM® series highest thermal resolutions in the uncooled infrared camera segment. These infrared camera systems can be equipped with close-up lenses in order to analyse smallest body regions in detail. Thus, skin reactions like perspiration or temperature changes of the eyes are observable in an accurate way with the help of an infrared camera.

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Thermography in Veterinary Medicine

Various Disease Patterns are Detectable by Means of Thermography

Medical examinations of animals can be carried out in an efficient way by applying infrared camera systems. Animal’s body temperature can indicate multiple health problems. These may affect the animal itself, as for instance diseases of the udder or hoof, or they result from animal husbandry, as it is in the case of an incorrect application of saddles causing pressure points and, following, local overheating on horses. Inflammations and lameness are further problems which can be detected with the help of thermography.

Infrared Camera’s Compactness and Small Size allows its Flexible Application

In particular, the application of infrared camera systems is of interest due to their high mobility and – in contrast to many other procedures of veterinary medical engineering – can, therefore, be taken into stables. InfraTec’s camera series VarioCAM® impresses especially with their small size and low weight. Moreover, thermography is a non-contact measurement process which ensures that animals are not unnecessarily provoked.

Case Study

Bat, roosting between tiles and underfelt

Thermography in Biology

Bats are important in the ecosystems, and can provide valuable services to humans such as reducing the numbers of insect pests at night. But the consequences of human population expansion have caused significant reductions in the populations of many bat species over the past hundred years. In order to protect bat populations firstly their ecology has to be understood but it can be very difficult to study the small, nocturnal mammals in the wild. Infrared thermography offers solutions to many of the problems faced by bat ecologists.

Examination of hooves

Reliable Diagnoses only with Excellent Thermal Resolutions of Infrared Camera Systems

Minimal differences of an animal’s body temperature can be an indicator for disease patterns. Thus, applied infrared camera systems must detect smallest temperature differences requiring excellent thermal resolutions. InfraTec provides with its VarioCAM® series highest thermal resolutions and minimal differences in degrees Celsius (hundredth of a degree) in the uncooled infrared camera segment.

Infrared Cameras for Medical Applications