Thermal Images of the Lung on a Smart Phone to Differentiate Bacterial from Non-bacterial Causes of Pneumonia
Patricia Hibberd of Massachusetts General Hospital in the U.S. will develop a low-cost thermal imaging system for a smart phone to diagnose bacterial pneumonia in children from developing countries where the standard chest X-ray is often unavailable. They predict that children with pneumonia specifically caused by bacteria will have asymmetric “hot spots” of high temperatures in the lungs caused by localized inflammation. They will perform a proof-of-concept study in children under age 5 with chest infections in a large hospital in Malawi using the FLIR One Thermal Imaging System attached to a smartphone. At least 10 thermal images will be taken, and two short videos to record breathing rate, and the data will be used to develop statistical approaches for the required analytics. They will evaluate performance for diagnosing pneumonia by comparing it to the standard chest X-ray.