Wavelet Packets-Based Blind Watermarking for Medical Image Management

Wavelet Packets-Based Blind Watermarking for Medical Image Management

The Open Biomedical Engineering Journal 16 Apr 2010 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874120701004010093


The last decade has witnessed an explosive use of medical images and Electronics Patient Record (EPR) in the healthcare sector for facilitating the sharing of patient information and exchange between networked hospitals and healthcare centers. To guarantee the security, authenticity and management of medical images and information through storage and distribution, the watermarking techniques are growing to protect the medical healthcare information. This paper presents a technique for embedding the EPR information in the medical image to save storage space and transmission overheads and to guarantee security of the shared data. In this paper a new method for protecting the patient information in which the information is embedded as a watermark in the discrete wavelet packet transform (DWPT) of the medical image using the hospital logo as a reference image. The patient information is coded by an error correcting code (ECC), BCH code, to enhance the robustness of the proposed method. The scheme is blind so that the EPR can be extracted from the medical image without the need of the original image. Therefore, this proposed technique is useful in telemedicine applications. Performance of the proposed method was tested using four modalities of medical images; MRA, MRI, Radiological, and CT. Experimental results showed no visible difference between the watermarked and the original image. Moreover, the proposed watermarking method is robust against a wide range of attacks such as JPEG coding, Gaussian noise addition, histogram equalization, gamma correction, contrast adjustment, and sharpen filter and rotation.

Keywords: Medical image watermarking (MIW), electronic patient record (EPR), discrete wavelet packet transform DWPT, BCH code..