21 March 2007 Observer success rates for identification of 3D surface reconstructed facial images and implications for patient privacy and security
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3D and multi-planar reconstruction of CT images have become indispensable in the routine practice of diagnostic imaging. These tools cannot only enhance our ability to diagnose diseases, but can also assist in therapeutic planning as well. The technology utilized to create these can also render surface reconstructions, which may have the undesired potential of providing sufficient detail to allow recognition of facial features and consequently patient identity, leading to violation of patient privacy rights as described in the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) legislation. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether 3D reconstructed images of a patient's facial features can indeed be used to reliably or confidently identify that specific patient. Surface reconstructed images of the study participants were created used as candidates for matching with digital photographs of participants. Data analysis was performed to determine the ability of observers to successfully match 3D surface reconstructed images of the face with facial photographs. The amount of time required to perform the match was recorded as well. We also plan to investigate the ability of digital masks or physical drapes to conceal patient identity. The recently expressed concerns over the inability to truly "anonymize" CT (and MRI) studies of the head/face/brain are yet to be tested in a prospective study. We believe that it is important to establish whether these reconstructed images are a "threat" to patient privacy/security and if so, whether minimal interventions from a clinical perspective can substantially reduce this possibility.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Joseph J. Chen, Joseph J. Chen, Khan M. Siddiqui, Khan M. Siddiqui, Leslie Fort, Leslie Fort, Ryan Moffitt, Ryan Moffitt, Krishna Juluru, Krishna Juluru, Woojin Kim, Woojin Kim, Nabile Safdar, Nabile Safdar, Eliot L. Siegel, Eliot L. Siegel, } "Observer success rates for identification of 3D surface reconstructed facial images and implications for patient privacy and security", Proc. SPIE 6516, Medical Imaging 2007: PACS and Imaging Informatics, 65161B (21 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.717850; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.717850

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