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SRGB Displays: A Good Choice for Medical Color Images?

T Kimpe

A Avanaki1 , K Espig1 , A Xthona1 , T Kimpe2*, (1) Barco, Beaverton, OR (2) Barco N.V., Kortrijk, Belgium


WE-D-9A-7 Wednesday 11:00AM - 12:15PM Room: 9A

As of today there is no agreed standard for visualization of color information on medical displays. Today most medical color display systems use sRGB standard gamut. This paper studies whether sRGB displays are fit for visualization of medical color images. Special attention is paid to variability between display systems and perceptual linearity of display color behavior.

Four new sRGB displays (Samsung 850 Series, NEC P241W-BK, HP ZR24W, Dell U2413) were purchased and characterized with a Minolta CS-100A. For each display the color gamut was compared to sRGB standard gamut. In addition chroma of the neutral grey curve was measured (shift of color point when driving neutral grey from black to white). Finally perceptual linearity of color behavior was calculated. Perceptually linear color behavior is important to guarantee consistent appearance and visibility of subtle differences in color tints.

Measurements show significant variation in color gamut, despite the fact that all displays were new and claim correspondence to sRGB gamut. The expectation is that these differences will only become larger when displays age.
For grey tracking the measurements reveal major differences between the display systems, especially for the darker levels. A DICOM GSDF compliance check, as expected, shows that sRGB gamut for neutral grey tones does not map onto DICOM GSDF. This is not to be neglected since still a significant number of greyscale images are being visualized on color medical displays.
By making use of deltaE2000 as metric, perceptual linearity of the color behavior of the displays was quantified, showing a lack of perceptual linearity in color and significant variation in display behavior.

sRGB displays still suffer from significant variability in color gamut and grey tracking, and a lack of perceptual linear color behavior. Extending GSDF towards color (CSDF) may be a good step towards a solution.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Authors are employees of Barco

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