QAPP: A quality-aware and privacy-preserving medical image release scheme

Xu Zhang, Yufeng Wang*, Jianhua Ma, Qun Jin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The direct release of medical image may face the dilemma: the privacy protection of medical images inevitably affects the visual quality of images. To balance medical image quality and privacy, this paper proposes a quality-aware and privacy-preserving medical image release scheme, QAPP, which effectively integrates the discrete cosine transform (DCT) with differential privacy (DP). Specifically, QAPP is composed of three phases. First, DCT is applied to each medical image to obtain its cosine coefficients matrix. Second, the original cosine coefficients matrix is compressed into k*k cosine coefficients matrix, which can retain the main features of each image. Third, the appropriate Laplace noise is injected into the formed k*k matrix to achieve differential privacy, and these noise-added coefficients are used to reconstruct the noise-added medical images through inverse DCT. Especially, considering there two error sources affecting the image quality in our work: the compression error caused by DCT, and the injected noise error caused by DP, Therefore, a selection function is proposed to determine the optimal compression dimension k, which can minimize the influence of these two errors to improve the visualization quality of the medical image. Subjective and objective image quality evaluation, and extensive experiments of image classification and segmentation using the real medical image dataset demonstrate that the proposed method QAPP can better balance medical image quality and privacy than other similar DP-based methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-295
Number of pages15
JournalInformation Fusion
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • Differential privacy
  • Discrete cosine transform
  • Image quality improvement
  • Privacy protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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