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An imaging system with calibrated color image acquisition for use in dermatology

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4 Author(s)
Haeghen, Y.V. ; Dept. of Eng., Gent Univ., Belgium ; Naeyaert, J.M.A.D. ; Lemahieu, I. ; Philips, W.

The authors propose a novel imaging system useful in dermatology, more precisely, for the follow-up of patients with an increased risk of skin cancer. The system consists of a Pentium PC equipped with an RGB frame grabber, a three-chip charge coupled devices (CCD) camera controlled by the serial port and equipped with a zoom lens and a halogen annular light source. Calibration of the imaging system provides a way to transform the acquired images, which are defined in an unknown color space, to a standard, well-defined color space called SRGB, sRGB has a known relation to the CIE 1 XYZ and CIE L*a*b* colorimetric spaces. These CIE color spaces are based on the human vision, and they allow the computation of a color difference metric called CIE ΔE ab*, which is proportional to the color difference, as seen by a human observer. Several types of polynomial RGB to sRGB transforms will be tried, including some optimized in perceptually uniform color spaces. The use of a standard and well-defined color space also allows meaningful exchange of images, e.g., in teledermatology. The calibration procedure is based on 24 patches with known color properties, and it takes about 5 minutes to perform. It results in a number of settings called a profile that remains valid for tens of hours of operation. Such a profile is checked before acquiring images using just one color patch, and is adjusted on the fly to compensate for short-term drift in the response of the imaging system. Precision or reproducibility of subsequent color measurements is very good with <ΔE ab*>=0.3 and ΔE ab*<1.2. Accuracy compared with spectrophotometric measurements is fair with <ΔE ab*>=6.2 and ΔE ab*><13.3.

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Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 7 )