1st Edition

The Thermal Human Body
A Practical Guide to Thermal Imaging

ISBN 9789814745826
Published May 9, 2019 by Jenny Stanford Publishing
260 Pages 19 Color & 38 B/W Illustrations

USD $149.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book is a guide for the constantly growing community of the users of medical thermal imaging. It describes where and how an infrared equipment can be used in a strictly standardised way and how one can ultimately comprehensively report the findings. Due to their insight into the complex mechanisms behind the distribution of surface temperature, future users of medical thermal imaging should be able to provide careful, and cautious, interpretations of infrared thermograms, thus avoiding the pitfalls of the past. The authors are well-known pioneers of the technique of infrared imaging in medicine who have combined strict standard-based evaluation of medical thermal images with their expertise in clinical medicine and related fields of health management.

Table of Contents

1. History of Thermal Imaging since 1960  2. Basic Thermal Physics: Heat Exchange and Infrared Radiation  3. Basic Thermal Physiology: What Processes Lead to the Temperature Distribution on the Skin Surface  4. Infrared Thermal Imagers  5. Quality Assurance Procedures and Infrared Equipment Operation  6. Standard Protocol and Provocation Tests  7. How Should a Clinical Thermal Image be Recorded and Evaluated?

View More



Kurt Ammer was senior researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Research Unit for Physical Diagnostics, Austria, between 1988 and 2004. Between 1985 and his retirement in early 2013, he was vice director of the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Hanusch hospital in Vienna.

Francis Ring took up the post of director of Medical Imaging Research at the University of Glamorgan from which he formally retired in 2017. He is an active member of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) of Great Britain, being on the Science Council, Awards Council, and the Imaging Science Group.


"This is a thoroughly enjoyable book for scientists, engineers, and novice users interested in the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of thermal imaging. The text begins with the history of thermal imaging of the human body, emphasizing drawbacks faced at different points. Chapter 2 provides a thorough review of the related physics concepts, with equations and units that will satisfy readers with STEM backgrounds. In Chapter 3, the authors present how the body works, including how heat is generated and distributed within the body. The body’s feedback loop model to regulate body temperature through thermoreceptors and thermoeffectors, both autonomically and behaviorally, is clearly explained and illustrated by various temperature measurements from different parts of the body. Chapter 4 reviews existing technologies for detecting and displaying infrared images. Chapter 5 summarizes equipment operation for accurate measurements, including calibration and stability, with relevant equipment specifications. Sample images of different human body parts are provided in Chapter 6, illustrating procedures for quality image acquisition from patients, image analysis, and interpretation. The final chapter summarizes equipment and patient preparation for thermal imaging involving various conditions. Many useful definitions are provided throughout to support readers in learning the introduced concepts. A valuable reference for anyone in biomedical sciences, engineering, and other medical fields."

"There is no way to study thermal imaging and not learn from the writings of Francis Ring and Kurt Ammer. Pioneers of the application of infrared thermography in medicine, the authors unveil the direction for a sensible use of the method. Luck for us—students, professionals and enthusiasts—because we can be grateful to receive a differentiated material that shortens the learning path. No doubt a remarkable book."
—Prof. Danilo Gomes Moreira, Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Minas Gerais, Brazil

"The Thermal Human Body is by two of the most eminent leaders in the field of clinical thermal imaging. It begins with a historical review, followed by extensive descriptions of the physical principles of thermometry and thermal physiology, and ends with the protocols and techniques required to ensure reliable thermal imaging. This book is set to become essential reading for anyone who wants to perform reliable thermal imaging of the human body, whether it be in medicine, clinical practice, sports science or research."
—Prof. Graham Machin, National Physical Laboratory, UK

"It is relatively simple to take clear thermal images of the skin surface of the human body in a clinical setting using modern infrared thermal cameras. However, considering all that one is doing is measuring skin surface temperature, the correct clinical interpretation of what one sees depends on a basic knowledge of many related factors. This book is a wonderful practical guide that takes the reader through all the main stages required and will be of special interest for those interested in entering the fascinating field of clinical thermal imaging."
—Professor Emeritus James B. Mercer, UiT—The Arctic University of Norway, Norway