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Barco proposes new DICOM color calibration standard to enhance accuracy of color medical imaging at RSNA show
Posted on Monday, November 24, 2014
Duluth, Ga. USA – 24 November – Healthcare visualization expert Barco will share results of its research on color visualization of medical images, which indicate the need for a new calibration standard to ensure the color accuracy of medical displays. Tom Kimpe, PhD and vice president of technology and innovation for Barco Healthcare will present Barco’s findings in a paper entitled “Are Medical Displays Calibrated to GSDF or sRGB Sufficient for High Quality Visualization of Color Medical Images?” at RSNA 2014 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on December 1.

Increasing emphasis on color medical imaging
The use of color in medical images has increased significantly in the past few years, evolving from annotative text on grayscale images to clinically relevant information depicting fused, multi-modality or quantitative imaging. However, there is no official standard of how color medical images must be visualized such as the DICOM GSDF (Grayscale Standard Display Function) established for grayscale displays. Currently, color medical displays are calibrated to the GSDF or clinicians utilize consumer-level displays that approximate the sRGB standard.

Defining a color calibration standard for medical displays
To determine if these calibration standards were sufficient to ensure accurate color medical images, Dr. Kimpe investigated both technical characteristics of color displays as well as the influence of color on the perception of clinical color in medical images.  In the study, measurement data of a large sample of medical color displays showed that significant color instabilities remained with both DICOM GSDF or sRGB.

“Visual differences between the calibration targets were large and easily perceivable on medical images, with color behavior between the same type of display systems varying by double-digit percentages,” comments Dr. Kimpe. “This clearly demonstrates that a higher standard of color calibration is needed specifically for color medical images to achieve a high level of accuracy.”

DICOM color standard makes the difference
The Color Standard Display Function (CSDF), recently proposed as an extension to the DICOM GSDF, offers a better reproducible color behavior with improved perceptual linearity.  In his presentation, Dr. Kimpe will show some of these images, revealing how accurately calibrated color makes a difference compared to standard GSDF or sRGB.

Dr. Kimpe will present on this topic on Monday, December 1 from 3:30pm – 3:40pm in Room S402AB, SSE13-04, at RSNA. Barco will also be exhibiting at the show in South Hall A, Booth #2706 from November 30-December 4.