Feature Representation Learning for Robust Retinal Disease Detection from Optical Coherence Tomography Images

by   Sharif Amit Kamran, et al.

Ophthalmic images may contain identical-looking pathologies that can cause failure in automated techniques to distinguish different retinal degenerative diseases. Additionally, reliance on large annotated datasets and lack of knowledge distillation can restrict ML-based clinical support systems' deployment in real-world environments. To improve the robustness and transferability of knowledge, an enhanced feature-learning module is required to extract meaningful spatial representations from the retinal subspace. Such a module, if used effectively, can detect unique disease traits and differentiate the severity of such retinal degenerative pathologies. In this work, we propose a robust disease detection architecture with three learning heads, i) A supervised encoder for retinal disease classification, ii) An unsupervised decoder for the reconstruction of disease-specific spatial information, and iii) A novel representation learning module for learning the similarity between encoder-decoder feature and enhancing the accuracy of the model. Our experimental results on two publicly available OCT datasets illustrate that the proposed model outperforms existing state-of-the-art models in terms of accuracy, interpretability, and robustness for out-of-distribution retinal disease detection.


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