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How to measure and analyze peripheral blood circulation in hands using a thermal imager
Do women have colder hands than men? Is the left hand colder than the right hand? Visit Designtech's customers Percold AB and Omicold AB to get answers to these and more questions during a recorded live broadcast on LinkedIn.
Vibration exposure at work can lead to discomfort in the hands and arms due to vascular and nerve damage. These can manifest themselves as Raynaud's syndrome, paresthesias (numbness) and carpal tunnel syndrome. This can be detected by measuring and analyzing abnormalities in the peripheral blood circulation.
One of Designtech's customers, Percold AB, has a well-developed method for measuring and analyzing the peripheral blood circulation in the hands using cooling provocation and thermal imaging. Designtech has been involved in developing both the measurement database and the reporting tool. The solution consists of technology, patents and tools in combination with services for measurement and training. Measurement and training are provided by Omicold AB and Ulla Juntti is the CEO of both companies.
We decided to visit Ulla Juntti and participate in a real measurement together with a test subject. Questions we would like answers to were:
- Why do you need to know if you have good or bad circulation in your hands?
- Do women have colder hands than men?
- Is there a difference between the right and the left hand, if so why?
- Can you see the effects of smoking?
- Can you see reduced circulation?
- Why are there two groups, those who recover and those who do not?
On December 21, 2021, we carried out a live broadcast of an actual measurement and analysis. The recording can be viewed in its entirety on both LinkedIn and YouTube..
About the method (MoL)
MoL is a mobile eHealth solution that minimizes losses in production and ensures storage (documentation), analysis, real time results and validity of data.
The method shows information rapidly and in a pedagogical manner and is scientifically structured. Measurement of heat loss and recovery is carried out under controlled conditions in terms of what people did before the test, test conditions and test procedures. MoL measures the periphery blood circulation in hands and feet with help of a thermal camera and a software program on a laptop. Immediately after the measurements are finished, the data are sent to a database where they are stored, analyzed and presented in a predefined health report that medical personnel can open, comment on, make recommendations, and return to the test unit, as shown in the figure below.
MoL can measure the effects of using vibrating tools, drugs, tobacco. It can also be used in product development, e.g. to evaluate new designs for gloves or personal protective equipment.
How the measurements are made
- Rest for 30 min in + 20° C without touching cold or warm surfaces.
- Data and answers on blood pressure, pulse, body temperature, room temperature etc. are noted in the measurement program. Note: we ALWAYS HAVE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT – if it is going to be stored in the data base, it does not have the personal number of the test individual.
- The measurement data suggest an individual code for the person to be tested. The code can be used by the person, if he/she wants to be retested to see if there has been any change.
- Take measurements of the baseline temperature (initial temperature).
- Cool the hands or feet in cold water.
- Measure the recovery process as average temperature in predefined zones every 10 seconds for at least 5 minutes.
- Send the data to a database that stores, analyses and delivers data/decision support (in real time) to a medical doctor who can comment and/or add medical recommendations, convert the health report, and send it back to the measurement computer.