The awards are given by the Wellcome Trust in the UK, considered one of the world’s leading resources for medical imagery, “to recognize the creators of the most informative, striking and technically excellent images that communicate significant aspects of biomedical science.” The Raynaud’s thermal image was considered one of the best science images of this past year!
As you can guess, the thermal image displays the colder areas as blue, black and purple. The healthy hand is displayed in warm tones of yellow and orange.
Catherine Draycott, head of Wellcome Images and chair of the judging panel, explained their rationale for the selection: “This image is striking because it shows so vividly the difference between normal circulation and the poor circulation of someone with Raynaud’s disease – triggered by cold temperature, stress and anxiety.”
Thermal imaging uses a special camera to detect infrared radiation or heat. The amount of radiation produced by an object increases with temperature, so the technique creates visual variations in temperature.
Here’s more on how thermal imaging has been used to display clinical trial results applying Botox injections to the feet: Botox Applied to the Toes Restores Heat to Feet