Development of Medical Infrared Imaging Protocol for the Emergency Department
Objective: Medical Infrared Imaging (MII) is an investigative method that can be used to non-invasively detect specific heat signatures associated with disease, with a potential to be used in emergency care. There are no existing protocols for the use of MII in the Emergency Department (ED), and it is not known if this procedure is feasible in an ED setting. Methods: To determine the optimum protocol a preliminary study was conducted on 20 healthy volunteers. The right and left arms were imaged in Thermal Infra-Red (TIR), in a series of positions (anterior and posterior surfaces). TIR video recording of both arms held in extension (2 minutes) was also conducted. Results: Gender, side of body and length of time held in extension did not significantly affect the thermal images. There were significant differences between the anterior and posterior views of the arm, so this should be standardised. Conclusions: A standardised, yet practical protocol has been successfully developed. This ‘Leicester ED MII Protocol’ is proposed as the standard for future thermography in emergency care, to allow studies to be comparable, and now requires feasibility testing in the emergency care environment.