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Is there a need for biomedical CBIR systems in clinical practice? Outcomes from a usability study.
Articles in the literature routinely describe advances in Content Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) and its potential for improving clinical practice, biomedical research and education. Several systems have been developed to address particular needs, however, surprisingly few are found to be in routine practical use. Our collaboration with the
National Cancer Institute (NCI) has identified a need to develop tools to annotate and search a collection of over 100,000 cervigrams and related, anonymized patient data. One such tool developed for a projected need for retrieving similar patient images is the prototype CBIR system, called CervigramFinder, which retrieves images based on the visual similarity of particular regions on the cervix. In this article we report the outcomes from a usability study conducted at a primary meeting of practicing experts. We used the study to not only evaluate the system for software errors and ease of use, but also to explore its “user readiness”, and to identify obstacles that hamper practical use of such systems, in general. Overall, the participants in the study found the technology interesting and bearing great potential; however, several challenges need to be addressed before the technology can be adopted.
Keywords: content-based image retrieval, usability study, medical image analysis system, uterine cervix image