FAQ Infrared Screening, Medical Thermal Imaging
What are the main aspects in the choice of an infrared camera?
The most important are:
- The size of the image matrix. This specifies the number of pixels in the image. The medical standard today is at least 320 X 240 (76,800 pixels). We prefer 640 x 480 (307,200 pixels), but it is also possible to deliver a 1280 x 1024 HD camera with internal cooling (for research and hospitals).
- The temperature sensitivity. The best camera nowadays is measuring <50mK (milliKelvin) accurately, making the temperature sensitivity < 0.05 c at 30 ° c. Older cameras have an accuracy < 100mK!. Our recently developed HD Camera has a temperature sensitivity of < 0.025 c!
- Radiometry. This means that calibration of the camera happens in the camera. Non-radiometric cameras (there are many in the medical market) have their calibration built in the computer software. These infrared cameras are technically called 'image makers' but the displayed temperatures deviate significantly from the actual temperature resulting in less accurate readings.
I have heard that an image array of 160 x 120 can be "extrapolated" to 320 x 240, is this correct?
Extrapolation is a programming function in the software and has nothing to do with the actual image matrix coming directly from the camera. Enlarging low pixel images is a simple process, but unfortunately doesn't always yield good results. Because pixelated images contain only a finite amount of data, there is no way to enlarge the image directly other than by simply enlarging the same pixels. In many cases, this makes the enlarged image appear worse than the original.
The actual image matrix is very important and should not be extrapolated to a higher matrix.
Can thermal imaging detect cancer?
Infrared screening should not be used for the diagnosis of cancer. Diagnostic equipment for cancer is only accepted at the time this equipment has proven itself. Infrared screening is meant to be of support for diagnosing abnormalities, preventing diseases or treatment determination. Cancer should not be diagnosed based on infrared screening only.