Ethical Obligations in Infrared Imaging Research and Practice
Over the past two decades, technological advancement has led to increased capability, and efficacy of functional infrared imaging (fIR). Developments in computerized image acquisition, data processing, and interpretation derived and directly incorporated from formerly classified military applications have increased and solidified the medical utility of fIR. Previous and residual concerns and criticisms of IR as being inadequate to effectively detect thermal signatures that are important to establishing particular differential diagnoses have been assuaged and refuted by the functional sophistication produced through the merging of advanced image acquisition and computerized analytic systems. There is recurrent contention surrounding the inapt use of fIR by untrained personnel, and the overuse of IR as an improperly administered or interpreted “diagnostic” test. I believe that the aforementioned progress in (the technological domains) of the field has deepened concerns over the ethical use of fIR, and compels a need for increased stringency in the education, training, and certification of professionally qualified, competent clinicians, and technicians to be the sole providers of this technology.