Integration of Infrared Thermal Images in The Health Information Systems

Data de inicio e fim

  • 2021 | 2022

Investigador responsável

  • Ricardo Vardasca

Equipa de investigação

  • Domingos Martinho
  • Fernando Bento
  • Marco Tereso

Estudantes participantes

  • Estudantes da licenciatura de Informática de Gestão
  • Estudantes do mestrado de Engenharia de Tecnologias e Sistemas Web

Áreas e aplicação

  • Entidades públicas
  • Entidades privadas

Resumo / Abstract

Infrared thermography (TG) has been used in medicine and medical research for more than six decades, proving its importance as a complimentary diagnostic and treatment method with special incidence in pathological states of the integumentary, locomotor, neurological and vascular systems.  Although when compared with other medical imaging modalities it lacks integration with the Health Information Systems (HIS), which has been one of the major barriers of TG general adoption. Being the HIS composed of two main components: Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) to manage and store the imaging exams, and Electronic Health Records (EHR) that adds every exam result and report to the patient record. The integration with these systems is crucial for the adoption of a promising exam, which in case of TG it is an inexpensive and innocuous method to the patients and provides relevant physiological information that cannot be given by any other exam. In order to fulfil that gap, this research aims to define a proposal of a Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) TG dataset format along with the required communication messages needed and integrate it in an open source PACS, through implementing a DICOM Message Work List (MWL) for the TG modality to communicate and store the images in the PACS server. A software package will be developed to integrate existing manufacturer proprietary TG file formats, which the most used will be studied and relevant information extracted, into the defined dataset, allowing image processing and analysis with the current advanced methods and produce clinical TG reports, which will be integrated into an open source HER fulfilling the proof of concept of TG technological full integration. Proving the feasibility of this integration, a formal proposal will be made to National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), entity that manages the DICOM standard, for a DICOM standard revision. This will facilitate the thermal camera manufacturers to develop specific equipment for medicine and compliant with the DICOM standard, the wide adoption of the TG imaging modality at health institutions, providing more and relevant physiological information to health practitioners, aiding in clinical decisions, enriching patient electronic health records and contributing to patient better care.

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