Anonymization of Patient Information in Medical Imaging
State-of-the-Art and Challenges, Part 1
Anonymization of medical images has been a challenge ever since digital medical imaging was introduced. When it was film based, de-identifying an image was easy; one would simply cut off the corner of the film that included the patient information, or, when making a duplicate one would cover the patient information or obscure it with a black marker.
However, digital images require anonymization of the Personal Health Information in the DICOM header, the pixel data and in “burned-in” text. One might wonder why we are still struggling with anonymization after so many years of experience. The answer is that it is complicated.
This white paper is valuable for imaging IT professionals looking to:
- Understand what anonymization is and why it is important.
- Learn how anonymization works and what is included.
- Appreciate why re-identification is important.
After reading this first part of the two-part white paper you will understand:
- Challenges of fully automating the anonymization process.
- Importance of flexibility when planning the process.
- Guidance provided by medical imaging standards.