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In Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE : Burns are a serious health problem leading to several thousand deaths annually, and despite the growth of science and technology, automated burns diagnosis still remains a major challenge. Researchers have been exploring visual images-based automated approaches for burn diagnosis. Noting that the impact of a burn on a particular body part can be related to the skin thickness factor, we propose a deep convolutional neural network based body part-specific burns severity assessment model (BPBSAM).

METHOD : Considering skin anatomy, BPBSAM estimates burn severity using body part-specific support vector machines trained with CNN features extracted from burnt body part images. Thus BPBSAM first identifies the body part of the burn images using a convolutional neural network in training of which the challenge of limited availability of burnt body part images is successfully addressed by using available larger-size datasets of non-burn images of different body parts considered (face, hand, back, and inner forearm). We prepared a rich labelled burn images datasets: BI & UBI and trained several deep learning models with existing models as pipeline for body part classification and feature extraction for severity estimation.

RESULTS : The proposed novel BPBSAM method classified the severity of burn from color images of burn injury with an overall average F1 score of 77.8% and accuracy of 84.85% for the test BI dataset and 87.2% and 91.53% for the UBI dataset, respectively. For burn images body part classification, the average accuracy of around 93% is achieved, and for burn severity assessment, the proposed BPBSAM outperformed the generic method in terms of overall average accuracy by 10.61%, 4.55%, and 3.03% with pipelines ResNet50, VGG16, and VGG19, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS : The main contributions of this work along with burn images labelled datasets creation is that the proposed customized body part-specific burn severity assessment model can significantly improve the performance in spite of having small burn images dataset. This highly innovative customized body part-specific approach could also be used to deal with the burn region segmentation problem. Moreover, fine tuning on pre-trained non-burn body part images network has proven to be robust and reliable.

Chauhan Joohi, Goyal Puneet


Body part images, Burn images, Burns, Classification, Deep learning, Severity assessment