chapter  1
14 Pages

Advances in Medical Infrared Imaging

Infrared (IR) imaging in medicine has been used in the past but without the advantage of twenty-firstcentury technology. In 1994, under the Department of Defense (DOD) grants jointly funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Science and Technology (S&T), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Army Research Office (ARO), a concerted effort was initiated to revisit this subject. Specifically, it was to explore the potential of integrating advanced IR technology with “smart” image processing for use in medicine. The major challenges for acceptance of this modality by the medical community were investigated. It was found that the following issues were of prime importance:

1. Standardization and quantification of clinical data 2. Better understanding of the pathophysiological nature of thermal signatures 3. Wider publication and exposure of medical IR imaging in conferences and leading journals 4. Characterization of thermal signatures through an interactive web-based database 5. Training in both image acquisition and interpretation

In the past 10 years, significant progress has been made internationally by advancing a thrust for new initiatives worldwide for clinical quantification, international collaboration, and providing a forum for coordination, discussion, and publication through the following activities:

1. Medical IR imaging symposia, workshops, and tracks at IEEE/Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) conferences from 1994 to 2004

Nikolas: “9027_c001” — 2007/6/4 — 20:35 — page 2 — #2

2. Three Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazines (EMBS), Special Issues dedicated to this topic [1-3]

3. The DOD “From Tanks to Tumors” Workshop [4]

The products of these efforts are documented in final government technical reports [5-8] and IEEE/EMBS Conference Proceedings (1994-2004).