WE-D-204-01: ICC MIWG Displays: Draft Recommendations for a Color Visualization Pipeline




Use of color images in medical imaging has increased significantly. As of today there is no agreement on what is an appropriate visualization framework for color medical images, resulting into large variability of color appearance and it making consistency and quality assurance a challenge.The ICC Medical Imaging Working Group (MIWG) [http://www.color.org/groups/medical/medical_imaging_wg.xalter] is working towards recommendations and standards for visualizing color medical images.


The MIWG collected color characterization data for a wide range of color displays (consumer, professional and medical), as well as a collection of representative greyscale and color medical images. Based on this, simulations and bench testing was done to quantitatively compare the performance of various architectures and imaging pipelines. This allows making recommendations on imaging pipeline architectures, and defining minimum requirements to guarantee minimum performance levels.


Preliminary results are available already, and more complete results will be available before the AAPM annual meeting. Results so far suggest that, if appropriate choices are made for the imaging pipeline, it is possible to use the ICC framework in a medical context and obtain accurate visualization of greyscale (DICOM GSDF compliance) and color medical images.But performance heavily depends on specific choices made in the imaging chain. Eg. the effective bit depth of the display link has a large impact on performance, small changes in display tone rendering curve have a significant negative effect on compliance to DICOM GSDF, etc. At the AAPM annual meeting, more complete results and draft recommendations will be available.


There is a need to standardize how medical color images need to be visualized. The ICC Medical Imaging Working Group is working towards recommendations for a visualization framework for color medical images that extends the current grey image framework and so will allow both color and grey images to be displayed simultaneously.

Tom Kimpe is employee of Barco Healthcare