Why can’t an industrial thermal camera be used for medical thermography to screen for disease and problems in the body? Are all thermography cameras the same?
Meditherm’s medical thermography cameras are specifically designed for medical thermography. One feature that sets Meditherm cameras apart from industrial cameras are how it compensates for “thermal drift.”
Thermal drift, or the “drift factor” of a thermal camera, should be less than 0.2 degrees centigrade. A drift factor higher than that leads to poor reproducibility.
Industrial thermography cameras have a “lens correction” built in because they use optical lenses to focus and zoom. You have seen optical lenses because ordinary cameras also use optical lenses. Focus and zoom allow the camera to look at objects from varying distances. Optical lenses will absorb about 17% of the emitted radiation, which needs to be corrected by the software.
Medical thermography camera specifications include:
- Emissivity detection close to 100%
- No loss of accuracy or sensitivity due to use of optical lens (no attenuation)
- Correct range of detection: 10 microns
- Calibrated sensitivity and accuracy of temperature comparative analysis of 0.01 degree C
- Correct field of view for medical region imaging
- No loss of accuracy due to thermal drift
The Meditherm camera does not use an optical camera lens. Instead, it has a small germanium window that does not absorb measurable amounts of the emitted radiation. Therefore, the Meditherm camera detects close to 100% of the IR being emitted from the body for better accuracy. Industrial cameras all have a percentage of thermal drift, requiring “averaging” to compensate.
The Meditherm camera factory is FDA licensed as a medical device manufacturing facility, subject to annual inspections. No other thermographic camera company can say that.