[IN]FLAME : Mobile application for health diagnostics
Team: Nataly Moreno, Peder Heien Langaard ,
Marlene Jåsund, Mohit Hingorani
Traditionally thermal cameras are used only for military and scientific purposes. Their use in everyday lives have been limited primarily due to their extremely high costs. In medicine, their use has shown promise but has never been widely used due to FDA approval and healthcare practices. Thermal cameras being sufficiently sensitive can be used to differentiate between inflamed and normal joints.
IN[FLAME] uses the FLIR ONE thermal camera attachment for the iPhone to keep track of injuries and inflammation. This can be particularly useful as a preliminary medical diagnostic tool or for sports medicine. The thermal camera can track differences as small as 0.1 C, which is sufficient to detect problems or signs of inflammation. The app scans the persons limbs sequentially and store all the data which can be used for further diagnosis.
A study done by Romano et al, investigated patients with anterior knee pain which had developed after implantation of an artificial knee joint 1–9 years previously. Form the study the mean temperature differences between painful and nonpainful sites were ranged between 0.8°C and 0.9°C. The authors claimed a diagnostic sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 91.7% for painful sites at cut-off point of 0.1 ◦C temperature difference between painful and nonpainful sites. The results of the study shows that FLIR ONE is good enough with a sensitivity less than 0.1° C for clinical use.
[In]Flame is an app that uses the FLIR ONE to do a thermal scan of human joints. The iOS application stores the image including information about the maximum temperature and the temperature pattern for each joint. We assume because of the symmetry of the body, that healthy joints are equal to their opposite counterparts regarding temperature (e.g. right elbow and left elbow). We therefore scan joints on both left and right hand side, and compare them to each other. The app can store the data directly to your smartphone without any wireless solution.
Our research has showed that the FLIR ONE’s specifications are among the bottom tier of what is acceptable for thermal imaging cameras used in medicine today. This limits its use, but it does not exclude it from all medical uses. Our experiments showed that our app discover the increased blood flow caused by activation of muscles fairly well. For tracking inflammation, the temperature differences are not as large as for muscle activation. Our experiment still showed that the FLIR is capable of detecting temperature differences caused by inflammation. This confirms our belief that the FLIR ONE can be used in medicine, especially in physical therapy and sports medicine.
Github link: https://github.com/mohithingorani/INFLAME-app