A perspective on medical infrared imaging.
Since the early days of thermography in the 1950s, image processing techniques, sensitivity of thermal sensors and spatial resolution have progressed greatly, holding out fresh promise for infrared (IR) imaging techniques. Applications in civil, industrial and healthcare fields are thus reaching a high level of technical performance. The relationship between body temperature and disease was documented since 400 bc. In many diseases there are variations in blood flow, and these in turn affect the skin temperature. IR imaging offers a useful and non-invasive approach to the diagnosis and treatment (as therapeutic aids) of many disorders, in particular in the areas of rheumatology, dermatology, orthopaedics and circulatory abnormalities. This paper reviews many usages (and hence the limitations) of thermography in biomedical fields.