6 Steps to your Thermography Business
Step 1 - Choose the best infrared camera
Invest in the highest resolution camera with a good company. A better camera will provide sharper, more reliable images.
Wanting to start your own thermography business? It is strategically important to start your journey by getting this decision right. Ensure that you have the support of a manufacturer capable of providing ongoing camera maintenance and backing up the warranty: your medical thermography camera should serve you for many years.
On the regulatory side of this industry, the clinical application of the infrared camera is regulated by the FDA as a Medical Device. There are only a limited number of providers available with FDA Certification, which makes it critical to be aware of both generally accepted specifications as well as requirements indicated by the provider’s FDA approved registration. These additional considerations serve to quickly narrow the range of options. Take the time to do your research, and don’t hesitate to ask for the FDA documentation to prove the certification.
Step 2 - Software adds the "brains" to the system
When a device is FDA cleared, the approval of the device includes the software; however that does not ensure that every software program meets the standards necessary for professional clinical application. In other words, investing in the best and highest resolution camera possible, you deserve a medical thermography software program that provides you the ability to take full advantage of your camera’s capabilities along with meeting your own professional standards for your thermography business.
Step 3 - Training
Quality training is a key component to becoming the best professional medical thermographer you can be.
If you are new to this industry, just know that there is a lot of information to be learned. There is no substitute for good training to ensure you are well prepared to provide quality service and ensure the growth of this industry. There are four specific levels of training in this industry.
Level 1 – Technical and compliance training (remember the FDA regulates the use of medical devices). This training should be included in the initial investment.
Level 2 – Getting started, define your services and attract like-minded clients. This course should quickly follow the technical training.
Level 3 – Growing your business. After developing personal expertise, it will be time to take the business to the next level. This Level of training is an opportunity to learn from those who have done just that.
Level 4 – Advanced training – Once business is growing, you will be ready for new ideas, applications and new techniques. This training will provide you with the knowledge and success that will make you an expert in your field on thermography business.
Step 4 - Accessories
Accessory Equipment adds to a professional appearance and experience with your clients.
A camera doesn’t hold itself, and you certainly don’t want to keep the client, who most often is substantially disrobed, waiting any longer than necessary.
In fact, we have found that clients value “privacy imaging”, which is also a great business/practice builder because you stand out from all the others. It is possible to use an automated device designed to be controlled from your computer screen, leaving you completely and professionally out of the space and out of sight of the client.
Step 5 - Interpretations
Service begins with high resolution images captured by a well trained IAMT medical thermographer, and then the images are sent to a medical professional for interpretation, who then produce your report(s). It’s important to research your options before you purchase a Thermal Imaging System in order to know what professional service or what interpreting medical professional will be available to you for providing interpretations and client reports.
Step 5 - Support
What happens after you purchase a camera? Is the provider’s end goal to just sell a camera? This would not be investing wisely. Medical thermographers who have been in this business a long time, value support the most!
The provider should continue to offer tech support for your equipment, and keep the software updated, even after the warranty period ends. They should be there when you have a challenge, and generally offer the confidence that you are not alone. A reputable company is always there to answer the phone during business hours.