Image Processing and Analysis Methods for Biomedical Applications

Abstract: With new technologies and developments medical images can be acquired more quickly and at a larger scale than ever before. However, increased amount of data induces an overhead in the human labour needed for its inspection and analysis. To support clinicians in decision making and enable swifter examinations, computerized methods can be utilized to automate the more time-consuming tasks. For such use, methods need be highly accurate, fast, reliable and interpretable. In this thesis we develop and improve methods for image segmentation, retrieval and statistical analysis, with applications in imaging-based diagnostic pipelines. Individual objects often need to first be extracted/segmented from the image before they can be analysed further. We propose methodological improvements for deep learning-based segmentation methods using distance maps, with the focus on fully-supervised 3D patch-based training and training on 2D slices under point supervision. We show that using a directly interpretable distance prior helps to improve segmentation accuracy and training stability.For histological data in particular, we propose and extensively evaluate a contrastive learning and bag of words-based pipeline for cross-modal image retrieval. The method is able to recover correct matches from the database across modalities and small transformations with improved accuracy compared to the competitors. In addition, we examine a number of methods for multiplicity correction on statistical analyses of correlation using medical images. Evaluation strategies are discussed and anatomy-observing extensions to the methods are developed as a way of directly decreasing the multiplicity issue in an interpretable manner, providing improvements in error control. The methods presented in this thesis were developed with clinical applications in mind and provide a strong base for further developments and future use in medical practice.