Systematic Clinical Evaluation of A Deep Learning Method for Medical Image Segmentation: Radiosurgery Application
We systematically evaluate a Deep Learning (DL) method in a 3D medical image segmentation task. Our segmentation method is integrated into the radiosurgery treatment process and directly impacts the clinical workflow. With our method, we address the relative drawbacks of manual segmentation: high inter-rater contouring variability and high time consumption of the contouring process. The main extension over the existing evaluations is the careful and detailed analysis that could be further generalized on other medical image segmentation tasks. Firstly, we analyze the changes in the inter-rater detection agreement. We show that the segmentation model reduces the ratio of detection disagreements from 0.162 to 0.085 (p < 0.05). Secondly, we show that the model improves the inter-rater contouring agreement from 0.845 to 0.871 surface Dice Score (p < 0.05). Thirdly, we show that the model accelerates the delineation process in between 1.6 and 2.0 times (p < 0.05). Finally, we design the setup of the clinical experiment to either exclude or estimate the evaluation biases, thus preserve the significance of the results. Besides the clinical evaluation, we also summarize the intuitions and practical ideas for building an efficient DL-based model for 3D medical image segmentation.