Based in Exeter, with mobile clinics throughout the South West, Thermalogica is one of only a handful of clinics in the UK specialising in early stage disease detection and prevention, using thermal imaging technology.
Thermal imaging technology utilises a digital infrared camera to ‘photograph’ the body. This produces a computer-generated digital heat map, which is extremely accurate at detecting, pinpointing, evaluating and monitoring changes to the body caused by disease and pain.
Thermalogica offers a number of screening packages including upper or lower half body; full body thermograms as well as monitoring specific parts of the body such as the breasts or areas with an injury. Unlike X-rays, ultra-sounds and mammography that show the structure of the body, thermal imaging can detect subtle physiological changes that can lead to an early diagnosis.
Thermal images are taken by Terri Bainbridge and Lisa Portman, who are both trained as clinical thermographers, before being sent via a secured server to doctors trained in the methodology of reading and interpreting thermal images. A full medical report is then produced by the doctors and sent to you. Your test results are archived in a secure database enabling future thermograms to be compared to the earlier images. This allows you and your doctor or health practitioner to build up a complete picture of your health and monitor any changes over a period of time.
“Thermal imaging is set apart from any other health screening tool because it measures heat and temperature changes in the body, rather than changes to physical form or function. Heat is well-known to be the earliest predictor of disease, inflammation and malfunction in the body. A thermogram can show signs of disease such as diabetes before it would be detected from a blood test. And potential abnormalities up to eight to ten years before they show on a mammogram or ultrasound,” explains Lisa Portman, co-founder of Thermalogica.
Thermalogica was founded as a result of Terri Bainbridge’s own battle with cancer. Despite going to the doctor, having multiple mammograms and ultrasounds, Terri’s cancer was not diagnosed for a further six years. This led to her having her whole breast removed. (You can read more about Terri’s story here.)
Extensive research led Terri to discover there was a tool that could have highlighted the presence of a potential tumour a full six years before she was finally diagnosed. Terri decided to retrain as a thermographer, and together with business partner Lisa Portman, they founded the Exeter Thermal Imaging clinic, Thermalogica.
“When I found a small lump in my breast and was diagnosed with cancer I was given the choice to either have the whole breast removed or just the lump, so I chose the whole breast just to be sure. I was told after the operation that a very large tumour was found which hadn’t shown up on the mammogram.
“I was absolutely shocked because I had presumed that a mammogram would show what was there”
I now know that I have dense breasts (like most younger women) and dense breast tissue shows up as white on a mammogram just like a tumour so no wonder it was missed.
This research led me to thermal imaging which specialises in early disease detection throughout the whole body. It’s used extensively in America for breast checks. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t more widely available in the UK. So after a lot of negotiating and training, my friend and business partner, Lisa Portman, and I set up the Exeter Thermalogica Health Screening clinic to enable people to take charge of their own health. We particularly wanted to give those people with a genetic pre-disposition or family history of disease, an opportunity to monitor their health from a younger age to help catch disease at its earliest stage”.
Both Terri and Lisa believe in the old adage “Prevention is better than cure”.
Thermal imaging puts the emphasis on early stage disease detection and prevention, as opposed to the NHS and medical services, which put more of an emphasis on treatment rather than prevention.
Preventative medicine is a growing area and one that Thermalogica is passionate about. The earlier a disease or potential problem can be detected, the more treatment options are available, including less invasive lifestyle changes rather than just surgery.
Although thermography is used by the NHS, particularly in the early diagnosis of diabetes, many people are unaware of its existence. Thermalogica brings thermal imaging technology to the South West and allows you to take control of your health and your future.