A Deep Learning Framework Integrating the Spectral and Spatial Features for Image-Assisted Medical Diagnostics

Article Type

Research Article

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IEEE Access


The development of a computer-aided disease detection system to ease the long and arduous manual diagnostic process is an emerging research interest. Living through the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, we propose a machine learning and computer vision algorithms-based automatic diagnostic solution for detecting the COVID-19 infection. Our proposed method applies to chest radiograph that uses readily available infrastructure. No studies in this direction have considered the spatial aspect of the medical images. This motivates us to investigate the role of spectral-domain information of medical images along with the spatial content towards improved disease detection ability. Successful integration of spatial and spectral features is demonstrated on the COVID-19 infection detection task. Our proposed method comprises three stages-Feature extraction, Dimensionality reduction via projection, and prediction. At first, images are transformed into spectral and spatio-spectral domains by using Discrete cosine transform (DCT) and Discrete Wavelet transform (DWT), two powerful image processing algorithms. Next, features from spatial, spectral, and spatio-spectral domains are projected into a lower dimension through the Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), and those three types of projected features are then fed to Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) for final prediction. The combination of the three types of features yielded superior performance than any of the features when used individually. This indicates the presence of complementary information in the spectral domain of the chest radiograph to characterize the considered medical condition. Moreover, saliency maps corresponding to classes representing different medical conditions demonstrate the reliability of the proposed method. The study is further extended to identify different medical conditions using diverse medical image datasets and shows the efficiency of leveraging the combined features. Altogether, the proposed method exhibits potential as a generalized and robust medical image-assisted diagnostic solution.

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Open Access, Gold, Green

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