Robust and Efficient Medical Imaging with Self-Supervision

by   Shekoofeh Azizi, et al.

Recent progress in Medical Artificial Intelligence (AI) has delivered systems that can reach clinical expert level performance. However, such systems tend to demonstrate sub-optimal "out-of-distribution" performance when evaluated in clinical settings different from the training environment. A common mitigation strategy is to develop separate systems for each clinical setting using site-specific data [1]. However, this quickly becomes impractical as medical data is time-consuming to acquire and expensive to annotate [2]. Thus, the problem of "data-efficient generalization" presents an ongoing difficulty for Medical AI development. Although progress in representation learning shows promise, their benefits have not been rigorously studied, specifically for out-of-distribution settings. To meet these challenges, we present REMEDIS, a unified representation learning strategy to improve robustness and data-efficiency of medical imaging AI. REMEDIS uses a generic combination of large-scale supervised transfer learning with self-supervised learning and requires little task-specific customization. We study a diverse range of medical imaging tasks and simulate three realistic application scenarios using retrospective data. REMEDIS exhibits significantly improved in-distribution performance with up to 11.5 strong supervised baseline. More importantly, our strategy leads to strong data-efficient generalization of medical imaging AI, matching strong supervised baselines using between 1 results suggest that REMEDIS can significantly accelerate the life-cycle of medical imaging AI development thereby presenting an important step forward for medical imaging AI to deliver broad impact.


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