PDE based scheme for multi-modal medical image watermarking.Biomed Eng Online. 2015 Nov 25; 14:108.BE
This work deals with copyright protection of digital images, an issue that needs protection of intellectual property rights. It is an important issue with a large number of medical images interchanged on the Internet every day. So, it is a challenging task to ensure the integrity of received images as well as authenticity. Digital watermarking techniques have been proposed as valid solution for this problem.
It is worth mentioning that the Region Of Interest (ROI)/Region Of Non Interest (RONI) selection can be seen as a significant limitation from which suffers most of ROI/RONI based watermarking schemes and that in turn affects and limit their applicability in an effective way. Generally, the ROI/RONI is defined by a radiologist or a computer-aided selection tool. And thus, this will not be efficient for an institute or health care system, where one has to process a large number of images. Therefore, developing an automatic ROI/RONI selection is a challenge task. The major aim of this work is to develop an automatic selection algorithm of embedding region based on the so called Partial Differential Equation (PDE) method. Thus avoiding ROI/RONI selection problems including: (1) computational overhead, (2) time consuming, and (3) modality dependent selection.
The algorithm is evaluated in terms of imperceptibility, robustness, tamper localization and recovery using MRI, Ultrasound, CT and X-ray grey scale medical images. From experimental results that we have conducted on a database of 100 medical images of four modalities, it can be inferred that our method can achieve high imperceptibility, while showing good robustness against attacks. Furthermore, the experiment results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in detecting and recovering the various types of tampering. The highest PSNR value reached over the 100 images is 94,746 dB, while the lowest PSNR value is 60,1272 dB, which demonstrates the higher imperceptibility nature of the proposed method. Moreover, the Normalized Correlation (NC) between the original watermark and the corresponding extracted watermark for 100 images is computed. We get a NC value greater than or equal to 0.998. This indicates that the extracted watermark is very similar to the original watermark for all modalities.
The key features of our proposed method are to (1) increase the robustness of the watermark against attacks; (2) provide more transparency to the embedded watermark. (3) provide more authenticity and integrity protection of the content of medical images. (4) provide minimum ROI/RONI selection complexity.