History of Thermography

460 BC

Hippocrates was the first to look at the relationship between temperature and disease.

Hippocrates discovered when he covered an area of the body that was suspected of illness with a mud-clay mixture, when dried revealed the patterns of heat.


John Herschel in 1840 coined the term ‘Thermogram’. He created the first heat image by transferring a thermal impression to paper.


US Military secretly developed the first infra-red line scanner, taking up to 1 hour to complete a single image.


Thermography is de-classified by the U.S. Government


Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project (BCDDP) sited:

  • Untrained personnel and protocol violations
  • Inflated expectations
  • Poor study design
  • Unfortunately, this study is still cited to this day by critics of breast thermography
  • Since then 1980 to present standard protocols are in place and followed by most Technicians and Doctors that evaluate images.


Federal Drug Administration accepts Thermography as an adjunct to other diagnostic testing for:

  •  Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Extra cranial cerebral vascular disease
  • Female Breast Conditions
  • Neoplastic and inflammatory conditions
  • Thyroid gland abnormalities


First Thermo-Electrically Cooled Cameras appeared on the market


The AMA Council on Scientific Affairs concluded that Thermography was a valid and reliable diagnostic tool in the clinical evaluation of neurological and musculoskeletal conditions.


First Focal Plane Array imagers capable of 64,000 pixel resolution