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Proceedings Paper

Visual quality assessment of watermarked medical images
Author(s): Jason A. Dowling; Birgit M. Planitz; Anthony J. Maeder; Jiang Du; Binh Pham; Colin Boyd; Shaokang Chen; Andrew P. Bradley; Stuart Crozier
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Paper Abstract

Increasing transmission of medical images across multiple user systems raises concerns for image security. Hiding watermark information in medical image data files is one solution for enhancing security and privacy protection of data. Medical image watermarking however is not a widely studied area, due partially to speculations on loss in viewer performance caused by degradation of image information. Such concerns are addressed if the amount of information lost due to watermarking can be kept at minimal levels and below visual perception thresholds. This paper describes experiments where three alternative visual quality metrics were used to assess the degradation caused by watermarking medical images. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) medical images were watermarked using different methods: Block based Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) and Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) with various embedding strengths. The visual degradation of each watermarking parameter setting was assessed using Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR), Structural Similarity Measure (SSIM) and Steerable Visual Difference Predictor (SVDP) numerical metrics. The suitability of each of the three numerical metrics for medical image watermarking visual quality assessment is noted. In addition, subjective test results from human observers are used to suggest visual degradation thresholds.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 March 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6515, Medical Imaging 2007: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 65151L (8 March 2007);
Show Author Affiliations
Jason A. Dowling, e-Health Research Ctr./CSIRO (Australia)
Birgit M. Planitz, e-Health Research Ctr./CSIRO (Australia)
Anthony J. Maeder, e-Health Research Ctr./CSIRO (Australia)
Jiang Du, Queensland Univ. of Technology (Australia)
Binh Pham, Queensland Univ. of Technology (Australia)
National ICT Australia (Australia)
Colin Boyd, Queensland Univ. of Technology (Australia)
National ICT Australia (Australia)
Shaokang Chen, Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Andrew P. Bradley, Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
National ICT Australia (Australia)
Stuart Crozier, Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
National ICT Australia (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6515:
Medical Imaging 2007: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Yulei Jiang; Berkman Sahiner, Editor(s)

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