Optical tests for using smartphones inside medical devices

Amir S. Bernat, Jennifer K. Acobas, Ye Shang Phang, David Hassan, Frank J. Bolton, David Levitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Smartphones are currently used in many medical applications and are more frequently being integrated into medical imaging devices. The regulatory requirements in existence today however, particularly the standardization of smartphone imaging through validation and verification testing, only partially cover imaging characteristics with a smartphone. Specifically, it has been shown that smartphone camera specifications are of sufficient quality for medical imaging, and there are devices which comply with the FDA's regulatory requirements for a medical device such as a device's field of view, direction of viewing and optical resolution and optical distortion. However, these regulatory requirements do not call specifically for color testing. Images of the same object using automatic settings or different light sources can show different color composition. Experimental results showing such differences are presented. Under some circumstances, such differences in color composition could potentially lead to incorrect diagnoses. It is therefore critical to control the smartphone camera and illumination parameters properly. This paper examines different smartphone camera settings that affect image quality and color composition. To test and select the correct settings, a test methodology is proposed. It aims at evaluating and testing image color correctness and white balance settings for mobile phones and LED light sources. Emphasis is placed on color consistency and deviation from gray values, specifically by evaluating the ΔC values based on the CIEL∗a∗b∗ color space. Results show that such standardization minimizes differences in color composition and thus could reduce the risk of a wrong diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign and Quality for Biomedical Technologies XI
EditorsRamesh Raghavachari, Rongguang Liang
ISBN (Electronic)9781510614574
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventDesign and Quality for Biomedical Technologies XI 2018 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 27 Jan 201828 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceDesign and Quality for Biomedical Technologies XI 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • color calibration
  • quality assurance
  • smartphone imaging


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