April 20, 2024

AI-Supported Image Analysis: The Importance of Metrics in Determining Quality

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly playing a crucial role in various medical fields. Particularly in image analysis, AI algorithms are utilized to evaluate data such as mammograms, tomographic images, endoscopic images, and microscopic tissue sections. However, the effectiveness of these algorithms greatly depends on the metrics used to measure their performance and suitability for a specific task.

Lena Maier-Hein from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) highlights the issue of using validation metrics that may not be clinically relevant. For instance, when detecting brain metastases, it is more important for the algorithm to identify even the smallest lesions than to precisely define the contours of each individual metastasis. This misuse of metrics can impede scientific progress and delay the implementation of important image analysis methods in clinical settings.

To address this problem, Maier-Hein and her colleagues conducted a survey involving opinion leaders from academia and industry across 70 research institutions worldwide. The results of this survey provide comprehensive information on the challenges and limitations associated with validation metrics in image analysis. The researchers aim to increase understanding of this issue and provide access to reliable information for experts in all disciplines.

In a separate paper, the expert consortium led by researchers from Heidelberg introduced Metrics Reloaded, a comprehensive framework that helps physicians and scientists select appropriate metrics for their specific image analysis problems. Metrics Reloaded is available as an online tool that guides users through a series of questions and identifies the most suitable metrics based on their answers. The tool also highlights specific challenges related to different biomedical issues.

Metrics Reloaded is suitable for various categories of image analysis problems, such as image classification, object detection, and pixel assignment for semantic segmentation. It is applicable to different types of medical images, including CT, MRI, and microscopic images. Furthermore, Metrics Reloaded can also be utilized for image analyses outside of the biomedical field.

The introduction of Metrics Reloaded marks a significant advancement in AI-based image analysis. By providing a systematic guide, the tool assists users in selecting the right algorithm for their specific analysis needs. The researchers hope that Metrics Reloaded will be widely adopted in order to improve the quality and reliability of AI-supported image analyses. This, in turn, will enhance confidence in the use of AI technology in routine clinical practice.

In conclusion, the choice of appropriate metrics is crucial in determining the quality and suitability of AI algorithms for image analysis in various medical fields. The survey conducted by the DKFZ and the introduction of Metrics Reloaded serve as valuable resources to address this issue and improve the effectiveness of AI-supported image analysis.

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1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it