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In IEEE journal of biomedical and health informatics

Medical image processing is one of the most important topics in the field of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). Recently, deep learning methods have carried out state-of-the-art performances on medical imaging tasks. However, conventional deep learning has two major drawbacks: 1) insufficient training data and 2) the domain mismatch between the training data and the testing data. In this paper, we propose a novel transfer learning framework for medical image classification. Moreover, we apply our method to a recent issue (Coronavirus Diagnose). Several studies indicate that lung Computed Tomography (CT) images can be used for a fast and accurate COVID-19 diagnosis. However, well-labeled training data sets cannot be easily accessed due to the novelty of the disease and the privacy policies. The proposed method has two components: Reduced-size Unet Segmentation model and Distant Feature Fusion (DFF) classification model. This study is related to a not well-investigated but important transfer learning problem, termed Distant Domain Transfer Learning (DDTL). In this study, we develop a DDTL model for COVID-19 diagnose using unlabeled Office-31, Caltech-256, and chest X-ray image data sets as the source data, and a small set of labeled COVID-19 lung CT as the target data. The main contributions of this study are: 1) the proposed method benefits from unlabeled data in distant domains which can be easily accessed, 2) it can effectively handle the distribution shift between the training data and the testing data, 3) it has achieved 96% classification accuracy, which is 13% higher classification accuracy than "non-transfer" algorithms, and 8% higher than existing transfer and distant transfer algorithms.

Niu Shuteng, Liu Meryl, Liu Yongxin, Wang Jian, Song Houbing