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Compressing thermal medical images

Schaefer, Gerald and Zhu, Shao Ying (2004) Compressing thermal medical images. In: UK Symposium on Medical Infrared Thermography, 2004, Bushy House, Teddington, Middlesex, UK. (Unpublished)

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In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the application of infrared thermal imaging in medicine due to improvements in camera technology and the promise of reduced costs. Due to this increased use factors concerning the storing of thermal medical images have become an issue with one of the most prominent of these factors being the storage space used by the images. Hence, in order to reduce the demands on hardware resources compression of the data seems necessary. For images there are two categories of compression algorithms: lossless techniques which preserve all information and lossy algorithms which sacrifice some of the visual quality to gain in terms of compression rate. For medical images typically lossless techniques are employed so as to make sure no image features are remove or distorted. However, lossless image compression achieves only a compression ratio of about 1:2 which is in stark
contrast to lossy techniques which provides compression with
ratios up to 1:100.

In this paper we apply the recently released JPEG2000 compression standard to thermal medical images. We utilise the lossy mode of JPEG2000 together with its ability of Region of Interest (ROI) coding which allows certain parts of an image to be coded at a different (higher) quality than the rest. The ROIs are obtained following recent work conducted at the University of Glamorgan which defines a set of standard views for thermal medical imaging together with a series of interest regions within each of the views. Coupling these with JPEG2000 allows high quality coding of thermal images with compression rates far beyond the ability of lossless algorithms.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/9976

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