Medical Thermography Cameras Help Detect Lameness in Horses

May 7th, 2012

Thermographic scans of horses helped detect and treat their problemsMedical thermography cameras detect heat patterns in the body. Since horses cannot communicate the location of their pain, medical thermography cameras can fill the gap to detect and prevent lameness.

An examination by a veterinarian often explains a horse’s leg problems and provides direction for treatment. However, sometimes a physical examination does not offer enough guidance for treatment. Horses have minor injuries that may result in permanent harm. They need to be identified and treated.

Some equine injuries can go for a long time without a diagnosis. Sometimes the injuries are tricky to identify using typical veterinarian examinations. A thermography camera (Digital Infrared Thermographic Imaging, or DITI) can quickly and easily make a thermographic image of the entire horse. These thermographic scans often show stress sites, multiple injuries, or referred pain syndromes in horses. These can very often indicate the causes, and/or the symptoms, of an equine problem.

Medical thermographic scans are non-invasive. The technique involves no risks, and there are never side effects. An x-ray bombards the body with radiation and requires the horse be anesthisized. The thermography camera detects heat emitted by the body.

The horse owner has the option of getting a thermographic image of the entire horse, or only suspect areas.

The equine body is naturally symmetric, and thermal patterns should be the same on both sides of the body (in most cases). Thermographic scans accurately show heat patterns allowing the veterinary thermologist to look for asymmetry to indicate abnormal function or physiology. Hyperthermic patterns (warmer temperatures) will display as warmer colors like yellow or red. Hypothermic patterns will display as cooler colors like blue. Vets can use these scans to both identify soft-tissue and skeletal problems in horses andmonitor therapy.

At Clinical Thermography Business, we recommend and sell the Meditherm med2000 IRIS 7.5 camera for both human and animal use. This camera is designed specifically for medical thermographic use.

Click to learn why this camera is best for medical thermography.

Color Mapping and Medical Thermographic Camera Data

April 30th, 2012
screenshot of thermography software for Meditherm cameras

Thermography software shows a breast thermographic image

Data from a medical thermography camera, such as the Meditherm IRIS 7.5 camera, is color mapped before being sent to the EMI Interpretation Service. What is color mapping?

When a patient comes in for a thermographic scan, him or her starts by getting acclimated to the room temperature. The skin’s surface needs to adjust to the temperature in the room before thermographic images are taken. The patient is asked to disrobe and wait in the examination room for around 10 minutes before beginning the thermographic scan. The desired room temperature is around 70 degrees.

Once the patient is acclimated, the scanning process begins. The purpose it to measure the patient’s body temperature for abnormal heat patterns that indicate abnormal function in the body. No radiaiton is used, it merely scans for the heat the body is emitting.

In one click, the medical thermographic camera takes over 80K temperature readings. With digital technology, that thermal data creates a thermal map instantly on the computer screen. First, the thermographer uses the medical thermographic camera to take several snapshots of the patient looking for stability in the colors and patterns assuring the patient has acclimated. If the displayed color patterns are not stable, then the patient needs more time to acclimate.

The body is symmetrical left to right. When a heat pattern on the body is asymmetrical (the two sides don’t match), that may indicate abnormal function. The body becomes its own control. It is important to provide comparative images to the EMI interpretation service, for contra-lateral analysis. The contralateral scans need to be saved within the same temperature range.

The human body’s physiology generally will fall within an 8-degree centigrade temperature range. This is the range that is required by EMI Interpretation service. This camera is specifically designed for medical thermography. It is more refined than the gross temperature differences shown by industrial thermography cameras that detect heat loss from windows and doors.

The preferred thermal map for medical interpretation is a 16-color system. Every 1/2 degree of the 8 degree range, is assigned a color. At the cooler end of the temperature range, we have cooler looking colors (black, blues) and at the warmer end, we have yellows and reds, ending with white. In the image, there is an 8-degree difference between a black pixel on the screen and a white pixel.

It is the thermographer’s job to fine-tune the scans to display as many colors in the color range as possible. This makes it easier for the medical doctors at EMI to read the patterns, as well as the colors. They are better able to interpret any abnormal function and write about them in their interpretation.

The scan can be shown in various color maps. But the underlying temperature data is not altered. Choosing a different “look” doesn’t change the data. The thermologists use additional software to display the actual temperature readings and statistical data (differentials from left to right) If the differentials are beyond normal parameters the asymmetric thermal activity may indicate abnormal function in the area.

Learn more about our medical thermography camera and the EMI Interpretation Service.

Types of Medical Thermography Training

April 23rd, 2012

Thinking about buying a medical thermography camera, starting a medical thermography business, or adding thermography to your existing health-related business? Then you need to examine which types of medical thermography training are available.

Meditherm clinical thermography cameras are specifically designed to examine the body. These cameras are manufactured in an FDA licensed as a medical device manufacturing facility, subject to annual inspection.

What type of medical thermography training is available for the Meditherm cameras?

  1. Thermography Technical Training – This is technical training about how to use a thermography camera. Everyone who has a Meditherm medical thermography camera must take this training before using the camera for medical purposes. This type of training is offered only by trainers certified by Read the rest of this entry »

Cold Stressing and Clinical Thermography

April 16th, 2012
Cold stressing thermographic image

Example of cold stressing on hand. Top: 1 minute after getting cold (20 degree water). Middle: 3 minutes after. Bottom: 6 minutes after.

Cold stressing is sometimes used in clinical thermography to measure the functioning of the sympathetic nervous system. It involves making an area of the body cold before running a thermographic scan. While cold stressing is not routine for breast exams, it is helpful for reflex sympathetic dystrophy (chronic pain, usually in a limb).

The protocols for Meditherm cameras do not require cold stressing routinely for breast exams. A physician or reading thermologist can specifically ask for a cold stress thermographic scan if needed.

Cancer needs a blood supply in order to grow, and these areas often show up as warmer on a thermographic scan. Thermographers who use the Meditherm thermographic camera usually use the EMI interpretation service to read and interpret the scans. EMI uses only trained physicians to interpret the scans and help detect problems such as cancer in their early stages.

When made cold, normal blood vessels in the skin are suppressed. Abnormal blood vessels do not contract as quickly or easily; therefore, potential problem area are easier to identify. The problem is that the cold stress stress is difficult to carry out. It has very strict protocols. Using it incorrectly can therefore result in false positive results.

If a thermographic interpretation is flagged Read the rest of this entry »