Infrared thermal imaging was first made available to medicine in the early 1960's. Despite a large number of research publications on the clinical application of the technique, the images have been largely qualitative. This is in part due to the imaging technology itself, and the problem of data exchange between different medical users, with different hardware. An Anglo Polish collaborative study was set up in 2001 to identify and resolve the sources of error and problems in medical thermal imaging. Standardisation of the patient preparation, imaging hardware, image capture and analysis has been studied and developed by the group. A network of specialist centres in Europe is planned to work to establish the first digital reference atlas of quantifiable images of the normal healthy human body. Further processing techniques can then be used to classify abnormalities found in disease states. The follow up of drug treatment has been successfully monitored in clinical trials with quantitative thermal imaging. The collection of normal reference images is in progress. This paper specifies the areas found to be the source of unwanted variables, and the protocols to overcome them.