Comparison of the temperature accuracy between smart phone based and high-end thermal cameras using a temperature gradient phantom

John H. Klaessens, Albert Van Der Veen, Rudolf M. Verdaasdonk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, low cost smart phone based thermal cameras are being considered to be used in a clinical setting for monitoring physiological temperature responses such as: body temperature change, local inflammations, perfusion changes or (burn) wound healing. These thermal cameras contain uncooled micro-bolometers with an internal calibration check and have a temperature resolution of 0.1 degree. For clinical applications a fast quality measurement before use is required (absolute temperature check) and quality control (stability, repeatability, absolute temperature, absolute temperature differences) should be performed regularly. Therefore, a calibrated temperature phantom has been developed based on thermistor heating on both ends of a black coated metal strip to create a controllable temperature gradient from room temperature 26 °C up to 100 °C. The absolute temperatures on the strip are determined with software controlled 5 PT-1000 sensors using lookup tables. In this study 3 FLIR-ONE cameras and one high end camera were checked with this temperature phantom. The results show a relative good agreement between both low-cost and high-end camera's and the phantom temperature gradient, with temperature differences of 1 degree up to 6 degrees between the camera's and the phantom. The measurements were repeated as to absolute temperature and temperature stability over the sensor area. Both low-cost and high-end thermal cameras measured relative temperature changes with high accuracy and absolute temperatures with constant deviations. Low-cost smart phone based thermal cameras can be a good alternative to high-end thermal cameras for routine clinical measurements, appropriate to the research question, providing regular calibration checks for quality control.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign and Quality for Biomedical Technologies X
ISBN (Electronic)9781510605534
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventDesign and Quality for Biomedical Technologies X - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 28 Jan 201729 Jan 2017


ConferenceDesign and Quality for Biomedical Technologies X
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Phantom
  • Quality
  • Smart phone
  • Thermal camera

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