What is Thermography?
Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging is a unique technology that takes a picture and creates a map of the infrared patterns of the body. It is different than other screening tools because it helps us to see function (physiology). MRI and x-ray detect anatomical changes so will miss such things as active inflammation or angiogenesis (increased blood supply as found in disease). It was approved by the FDA for breast screening in 1982. It can detect early danger signs in the body years before other tools. It has been shown to be effective in finding early signs of breast disease up to 8 years or more before mammography may detect it.
Medical thermography has been utilized for over 50 years. The tremendous value of thermography is now emerging as it coincides with a better knowledge of observational effects of physiological changes coupled with a renewed interest in preventative medicine, even at the highest levels.
Thermography is certified as an FDA Type 1 imaging device and is observational only, which means it has no biological or physiological effect on the body. Its unique significance relates to the fact that thermography can identify physiological changes well in advance of other imaging devices, making it a perfect tool for prevention.
While thermography is an exciting, highly developed technology, we realize it is only a tool. The ultimate effectiveness as a preventative health care service is in the ability of the healthcare provider to guide the patient toward taking advantage of the resulting physiological information.