Content-based Image Retrieval for Clinical Applications: An Overview of Current Approaches and Challenges
Frederico Valente, Augusto Silva and Carlos Costa
Affiliation: Instituto de Engenharia Electronica e Telematica de Aveiro, Campus, Universitario Santiago 3810-193 Aveiro-Portugal, Portugal.
Keywords: Content-based image retrieval (CBIR), digital imaging and communication in medicine, MEDICAL CBIR
Digital medical imaging has become one of the most important tools for medical diagnosis. However, the ongoing
evolution in both storage and modality devices has had as consequence that enormous amounts of imaging data are being
produced. The existence of large sets of data coupled with the limited query capabilities provided by the standard tools
and protocols poses problems for radiologists and has shifted the research focus from data availability towards data accessibility.
Content-based image retrieval (CBIR) systems have been heralded as a solution that is able to cope with the increasingly
larger volumes of information present in medical repositories and assist radiologists with decision support.
While generic, extensible CBIR frameworks that work natively with Picture Archive and Communication Systems
(PACS) are scarce, developments are happening at a fast pace and several systems have been implemented with some degree
of success. Based on the literature available, we provide an overview of such CBIR systems, architecture and implementation
techniques, with an emphasis on systems oriented towards usage in a clinical domain. We conclude with an
analysis of some of the challenges that still need to be overcome in order to bring this technology to a medical audience.
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