Characterizing browser-based medical imaging AI with serverless edge computing: towards addressing clinical data security constraints.


Artificial intelligence (AI) has been widely introduced to various medical imaging applications ranging from disease visualization to medical decision support. However, data privacy has become an essential concern in clinical practice of deploying the deep learning algorithms through cloud computing. The sensitivity of patient health information (PHI) commonly limits network transfer, installation of bespoke desktop software, and access to computing resources. Serverless edge-computing shed light on privacy preserved model distribution maintaining both high flexibility (as cloud computing) and security (as local deployment). In this paper, we propose a browser-based, cross-platform, and privacy preserved medical imaging AI deployment system working on consumer-level hardware via serverless edge-computing. Briefly we implement this system by deploying a 3D medical image segmentation model for computed tomography (CT) based lung cancer screening. We further curate tradeoffs in model complexity and data size by characterizing the speed, memory usage, and limitations across various operating systems and browsers. Our implementation achieves a deployment with (1) a 3D convolutional neural network (CNN) on CT volumes (256×256×256 resolution), (2) an average runtime of 80 seconds across Firefox v.102.0.1/Chrome v.103.0.5060.114/Microsoft Edge v.103.0.1264.44 and 210 seconds on Safari v.14.1.1, and (3) an average memory usage of 1.5 GB on Microsoft Windows laptops, Linux workstation, and Apple Mac laptops. In conclusion, this work presents a privacy-preserved solution for medical imaging AI applications that minimizes the risk of PHI exposure. We characterize the tools, architectures, and parameters of our framework to facilitate the translation of modern deep learning methods into routine clinical care.