Mauricio Solar

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Ignacio Loayza, Víctor Castañeda, Mauricio Solar, Mauricio Araya, Marcelo Mendoza, Gabriel Molina, Camilo Núñez


Medical images are an essential input for the timely diagnosis of pathologies. Despite its wide use in the area, searching for images that can reveal valuable information to support decision-making is difficult and expensive. However, the possibilities that open when making large repositories of images available for search by content are unsuspected. We designed a content-based image retrieval system for medical imaging, which reduces the gap between access to information and the availability of useful repositories to meet these needs. The system operates on the principle of query-by-example, in which users provide medical images, and the system displays a set of related images. Unlike metadata match-driven searches, our system drives content-based search. This allows the system to conduct searches on repositories of medical images that do not necessarily have complete and curated metadata. We explore our system’s feasibility in computational tomography (CT) slices for SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19), showing that our proposal obtains promising results, advantageously comparing it with other search methods.

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RL5, Publisher: Diagnostics, Link>


Víctor Castañeda, Steffen Härtel, Mauricio Solar, Mauricio Araya, Marcelo Mendoza, Humberto Farías, Gonzalo Pereira, Gabriel Molina, Camilo G Sotomayor


Medical imaging is essential nowadays throughout medical education, research, and care. Accordingly, international efforts have been made to set large-scale image repositories for these purposes. Yet, to date, browsing of large-scale medical image repositories has been troublesome, time-consuming, and generally limited by text search engines. A paradigm shift, by means of a query-by-example search engine, would alleviate these constraints and beneficially impact several practical demands throughout the medical field. The current project aims to address this gap in medical imaging consumption by developing a content-based image retrieval (CBIR) system, which combines two image processing architectures based on deep learning. Furthermore, a first-of-its-kind intelligent visual browser was designed that interactively displays a set of imaging examinations with similar visual content on a similarity map, making it possible to search for and efficiently navigate through a large-scale medical imaging repository, even if it has been set with incomplete and curated metadata. Users may, likewise, provide text keywords, in which case the system performs a content- and metadata-based search. The system was fashioned with an anonymizer service and designed to be fully interoperable according to international standards, to stimulate its integration within electronic healthcare systems and its adoption for medical education, research and care. Professionals of the healthcare sector, by means of a self-administered questionnaire, underscored that this CBIR system and intelligent interactive visual browser would be highly useful for these purposes. Further studies are warranted to complete a comprehensive assessment of the performance of the system through case description and protocolized evaluations by medical imaging specialists.

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