Automatic non-invasive detection of diseases of birds using Infrared Thermography
Alberta Veterinary Surveillance Network (AVSN) is a unique effort in Alberta which provides diagnostic pathology and disease investigation support to veterinary practitioners to detect and respond to animal health issues that may affect public health, food safety, or market access that serves the mutual benefits of veterinarians, industry and government. Latest research reveals that Infrared thermography is a comprehensive, non-invasive, non-contact and safe method for early detection of a number of contagious animal diseases. Infrared images contain the body surface temperature of the animal, and a drastic change in the body temperature is observed even before other clinical signs are manifested when an animal falls ill. These images can also be used to detect changes in group behaviours that reflect onset of disease before manifestation of clinical signs. In order to monitor images from large flocks in a timely manner, specialized software to evaluate infrared images is required to automate the analysis is on a province wide scale. The internship consists of developing a novel methodology which would automatically segment infrared images of the animal and groups of animals, identify abnormal regions (high temperature zones or animal clusters) and continuously monitor these regions, and raise an alarm if there is an epidemic. The MITACS ACCELERATE intern will discover the methodology and develop the software for AVSN to facilitate the implementation of a system for early detection of animal diseases.