A non-invasive diagnostic technique that allows the examiner to visualize and quantify changes in skin surface temperature. An infrared scanning device converts infrared radiation emitted from the skin surface into electrical impulses visualized in color on a monitor. This visual image graphically maps the body temperature and is referred to as a thermogram.
Non-contact thermography, thermographic imaging, or medical thermology is the field of thermography that uses infrared images of the human skin to assist in diagnosing and treating medical conditions. Medical thermology is sometimes referred to as medical infrared imaging or tele-thermology and utilizes thermographic cameras. According to the American Academy of Thermology, Medical Thermology practitioners
are licensed health care practitioners who utilize IR imaging inconsistent with medically established paradigms of care. Non-medically licensed alternative practitioners who are not held to the same standard may offer thermography services
, but that should not be confused with the field of medical thermology. Restated, medical thermology is using infrared (IR) imaging to assess skin temperature as an extension of the clinician’s physical exam to aid in forming a medical diagnosis or treatment plan. Medical Thermology does not condone those who purport that “Thermography” can find disease by looking for areas of the body that have abnormal heat or irregular blood flow. IR imaging simply does not have the ability to assess temperature beyond the surface of the skin.