FLIR as a novel technique in burn depth assessment? A service evaluation and comparison against the Laser Doppler

D Barnes1, Jay Goel2, A Tan3, P Dziewulski4

1 St Andrew Centre for Burn and Plastic, Court Road, CM1 7TH, UK,
2 Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, E1 2AD,
3 St Andrew Centre for Burn and Plastic, Court Road, CM1 7TH, UK,
4 St Andrew Centre for Burn and Plastic, Court Road, CM1 7TH, UK,


Thermal imaging is thought to have potential in burn depth assessment. FLIR One is a miniature thermal imaging camera, which is mountable to a smartphone and ready to use with the corresponding free FLIR One mobile app. There is no need for any operator training and images are taken similar to that of taking photos using a smart phone. The accompanying FLIR One app merges the digital with thermal images, producing an image with corresponding colour palate with a matching range of temperature.

This study aims to assess the practicality of FLIR One in clinical application and to compare against moor LDLS-BI in the assessment of burn depth in adults.


Adult burn wounds presenting within 48 hours of injury of total body surface area of less than 10% were included for assessment. Patients were divided into groups according to wound healing potential of a) less than 14 days, b) between 14 and 21 days and c) above 21 days. We correlated the healing potential of FLIR One against the moor LDLS-BI.


The incorporation of FLIR One into service provision was easy as the device was portable and no prior training was required. There was a learning curve for the use of the accompanying mobile app and the interpretation of images. The predicted healing potential of burn wound using the FLIR One correlated well and its accuracy comparable to moor LDLS-BI.


FLIR One signifies the beginning of ‘real-time’ thermal imaging. Our experience with the device was positive.

Key Words

Burn depth; Thermal imaging; FLIR One


I am a consultant burn and reconstructive plastic surgeon at St Andrew Centre for Plastics and Burns, Chelmsford. Previously, I trained in North East England and did a specialist burn fellowship at Middlemore Hospital at Auckland which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have completed a  MSc in  Health Science and a degree in Biomedical Engineering. I play an active role in research and innovation in burns. Currently, I also hold the role of an educational tutor for the hospital and I am the current deputy of London South East Burn Network.

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