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Interesting uses for mobile, discrete thermal imaging?


I just came across this blog post by Terence Eden:, which makes me think back to the discussion about the merit and practicality of the new Caterpillar smartphone. Although it's questionable whether the lepton has enough resolution / dynamic range to allow you to accurately gauge a person's body temperature distribution from a distance, I can't help but think that FLIR is ahead of the curve with the cost-cutting smartphone, drone, and security camera developments.

Any other ideas / thoughts on using miniaturized thermal imaging outside of the traditional engineering / surveillance applications?

Not an area that I have personal experience of, but I know that some vets make use of thermal imaging in diagnosis of injuries.  It seems to be particularly popular in equine applications (presumably because the cost is economically justifiable in the contest of the treatment costs).

Medically, similar applications exist and there has been some work on the use of thermal images for breast cancer screening, although it is not regarded as an conclusive method of diagnosis at this stage.

Thermal imaging for medical use is not a new use case. It is well known that infections show increased levels of thermal activity. This also allows you to see the vascular pathways, which could hint at blood infections. As far as diagnosing breast cancer, this is unreliable by itself but could be combined with several other techniques to confirm or deny a positive indication of cancer. Hotspots just under the skin in breast tissue could be just about anything.


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