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Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2013 Mar 13;8669. doi: 10.1117/12.2000569.

Involuntary motion tracking for medical dynamic infrared thermography using a template-based algorithm.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, USA 21218-2682.


In medical applications, Dynamic Infrared (IR) Thermography is used to detect the temporal variation of the skin temperature. Dynamic Infrared Imaging first introduces a thermal challenge such as cooling on the human skin, and then a sequence of hundreds of consecutive frames is acquired after the removal of the thermal challenge. As a result, by analyzing the temporal variation of the skin temperature over the image sequence, the thermal signature of skin abnormality can be examined. However, during the acquisition of dynamic IR imaging, the involuntary movements of patients are unavoidable, and such movements will undermine the accuracy of diagnosis. In this study, based on the template-based algorithm, a tracking approach is proposed to compensate the motion artifact. The affine warping model is adopted to estimate the motion parameter of the image template, and then the Lucas-Kanade algorithm is applied to search for the optimized parameters of the warping function. In addition, the weighting mask is also incorporated in the computation to ensure the robustness of the algorithm. To evaluate the performance of the approach, two sets of IR image sequences of a subject's hand are analyzed: the steady-state image sequence, in which the skin temperature is in equilibrium with the environment, and the thermal recovery image sequence, which is acquired after cooling is applied on the skin for 60 seconds. By selecting the target region in the first frame as the template, satisfactory tracking results were obtained in both experimental trials, and the robustness of the approach can be effectively ensured in the recovery trial.


dynamic infrared imaging; motion tracking; template-based algorithm

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