HomeMedicalImage AnalysisLeveraging Digital Imaging, Steganography & Watermarking - From Terrorism to Healthcare!

Leveraging Digital Imaging, Steganography & Watermarking – From Terrorism to Healthcare!

By Vinesh Kolpe, VP, Head of Engineering, Lumeris

More than 20 years ago, I was fortunate to land a Fully funded Research Assistance ship Program in the field of Digital Imaging, Steganography and Watermarking at SUNY, Binghamton as a part of my Masters Program. Around the same time, In the aftermath of September 11, Binghamton University, along with the other 63 campuses in the State University of New York System, was asked by SUNY Chancellor Robert King to deploy its intellectual and human resources to address the challenges facing the nation as a result of terrorist activity. Steganography was the method of communication being used by Osama bin Laden and his associates to outfox law enforcement. All the terrorist groups were using the Internet to spread their messages Little did I know, that  I would be a part of a Team tasked to find ways to detect these messages hidden within images through a foolproof Technology – Steganography and Digital Watermarking.

At the heart of steganography is the idea that someone can look at a file, message, image or video and not realize that there is anything hidden. Before digital technology, techniques could include invisible ink, small notes on envelopes hidden under postage stamps or knitting coded messages into clothing.

The term as borrowed from Greek literally means, “Covered writing”. In contrast to cryptography, which scrambles a message so it cannot be understood steganography hides the message so it cannot be seen. A message in ciphertext may arouse suspicion on the part of the recipient but an “invisible ” message created with steganographic metho ds will not. Steganography gives real meaning to the notion of “security through obscurity”.

Digital files — particularly ones for audio, videos or photos — are considered ideal for steganographic transmission because of their large size. The need for such technology goes beyond the kind of espionage we see in spy films to homeland security, military planning and protecting the privacy of citizens in countries that censor communication channels or prohibit the use of encryption.

Fast forward to 2022, securely updating and sharing solution for large amounts of healthcare information in communication channels amongst hospitals continues to be a nightmare. The need of fast and secure transmission is vital in the medical world. Nowadays, the transmission of images is a daily routine and it is necessary to find an efficient way to transmit them over the net. Steganography can play an important role in this area. The very same Algorithms that were used to possibly to cause large scale destruction and now be used to  conceals patient information inside a medical image using a dynamic key generated by graph 3 coloring problem. method can be developed to ensure reversibility as the original medical image is restored after extracting the embedded data from the stego medical image. Despite the embedding of patient information in the medical image, the visual quality of the image is preserved. Experimental results show that the proposed method is resistant against uniform affine transformations such as cropping, rotation and scaling.

Protecting the medical information of the patients is a major concern in all hospitals. In the future, Steg analysis and Digital watermarking are procedures that could be used to secure the confidentiality of medical information and maintain them, which upgrades patient health awareness. To protect the medical information, the robust and lossless patient medical information sharing system using crypto-watermarking method could be leveraged successfully.

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