Publications: Medical Imaging

The use of modern computer vision techniques is transformative in medical imaging; I have collaborated on bringing the best of transfer learning and multimodality to medical imaging, and on occasion published in this area.

Robust and Efficient Medical Imaging with Self-Supervision

Shekoofeh Azizi*, Laura Culp*, Jan Freyberg*, Basil Mustafa, ..., David Fleet, Geoffrey Hinton, Neil Houlsby, Alan Karthikesalingam, Mohammad Norouzi, Vivek Natarajan
Nature Biomedical Engineering · arxiv

Recent progress in Medical Artificial Intelligence (AI) has delivered systems that can reach clinical expert level performance. However, such systems tend to demonstrate sub-optimal "out-of-distribution" performance when evaluated in clinical settings different from the training environment. A common mitigation strategy is to develop separate systems for each clinical setting using site-specific data [1]. However, this quickly becomes impractical as medical data is time-consuming to acquire and expensive to annotate [2]. Thus, the problem of "data-efficient generalization" presents an ongoing difficulty for Medical AI development. Although progress in representation learning shows promise, their benefits have not been rigorously studied, specifically for out-of-distribution settings. To meet these challenges, we present REMEDIS, a unified representation learning strategy to improve robustness and data-efficiency of medical imaging AI. REMEDIS uses a generic combination of large-scale supervised transfer learning with self-supervised learning and requires little task-specific customization. We study a diverse range of medical imaging tasks and simulate three realistic application scenarios using retrospective data. REMEDIS exhibits significantly improved in-distribution performance with up to 11.5% relative improvement in diagnostic accuracy over a strong supervised baseline. More importantly, our strategy leads to strong data-efficient generalization of medical imaging AI, matching strong supervised baselines using between 1% to 33% of retraining data across tasks. These results suggest that REMEDIS can significantly accelerate the life-cycle of medical imaging AI development thereby presenting an important step forward for medical imaging AI to deliver broad impact.

Supervised Transfer Learning at Scale for Medical Imaging

Basil Mustafa, Aaron Loh, Jan Freyberg, Patricia MacWilliams, Megan Wilson, Scott Mayer McKinney, Marcin Sieniek, Jim Winkens, Yuan Liu, Peggy Bui, Shruthi Prabhakara, Umesh Telang, Alan Karthikesalingam, Neil Houlsby, Vivek Natarajan

Transfer learning is a standard technique to improve performance on tasks with limited data. However, for medical imaging, the value of transfer learning is less clear. This is likely due to the large domain mismatch between the usual natural-image pre-training (e.g. ImageNet) and medical images. However, recent advances in transfer learning have shown substantial improvements from scale. We investigate whether modern methods can change the fortune of transfer learning for medical imaging. For this, we study the class of large-scale pre-trained networks presented by Kolesnikov et al. on three diverse imaging tasks: chest radiography, mammography, and dermatology. We study both transfer performance and critical properties for the deployment in the medical domain, including: out-of-distribution generalization, data-efficiency, sub-group fairness, and uncertainty estimation. Interestingly, we find that for some of these properties transfer from natural to medical images is indeed extremely effective, but only when performed at sufficient scale.

Big Self-Supervised Models Advance Medical Image Classification

Shekoofeh Azizi, Basil Mustafa, Fiona Ryan, Zachary Beaver, Jan Freyberg, Jonathan Deaton, Aaron Loh, Alan Karthikesalingam, Simon Kornblith, Ting Chen, Vivek Natarajan, Mohammad Norouzi
ICCV2021 · arxiv · Google AI blog

Self-supervised pretraining followed by supervised fine-tuning has seen success in image recognition, especially when labeled examples are scarce, but has received limited attention in medical image analysis. This paper studies the effectiveness of self-supervised learning as a pretraining strategy for medical image classification. We conduct experiments on two distinct tasks: dermatology skin condition classification from digital camera images and multi-label chest X-ray classification, and demonstrate that self-supervised learning on ImageNet, followed by additional self-supervised learning on unlabeled domain-specific medical images significantly improves the accuracy of medical image classifiers. We introduce a novel Multi-Instance Contrastive Learning (MICLe) method that uses multiple images of the underlying pathology per patient case, when available, to construct more informative positive pairs for self-supervised learning. Combining our contributions, we achieve an improvement of 6.7% in top-1 accuracy and an improvement of 1.1% in mean AUC on dermatology and chest X-ray classification respectively, outperforming strong supervised baselines pretrained on ImageNet. In addition, we show that big self-supervised models are robust to distribution shift and can learn efficiently with a small number of labeled medical images.

Learning to Segment Medical Images with Scribble-Supervision Alone

Yigit B. Can, Krishna Chaitanya, Basil Mustafa, Lisa M. Koch, Ender Konukoglu & Christian F. Baumgartner
DLMIA2018 (best impact award) · arxiv

Semantic segmentation of medical images is a crucial step for the quantification of healthy anatomy and diseases alike. The majority of the current state-of-the-art segmentation algorithms are based on deep neural networks and rely on large datasets with full pixel-wise annotations. Producing such annotations can often only be done by medical professionals and requires large amounts of valuable time. Training a medical image segmentation network with weak annotations remains a relatively unexplored topic. In this work we investigate training strategies to learn the parameters of a pixel-wise segmentation network from scribble annotations alone. We evaluate the techniques on public cardiac (ACDC) and prostate (NCI-ISBI) segmentation datasets. We find that the networks trained on scribbles suffer from a remarkably small degradation in Dice of only 2.9% (cardiac) and 4.5% (prostate) with respect to a network trained on full annotations.