Surgical tool segmentation and action recognition are fundamental building blocks in many computer-assisted intervention applications, ranging from surgical skills assessment to decision support systems. Nowadays, learning-based action recognition and segmentation approaches outperform classical methods, relying, however, on large, annotated datasets. Furthermore, action recognition and tool segmentation algorithms are often trained and make predictions in isolation from each other, without exploiting potential cross-task relationships. With the EndoVis 2022 SAR-RARP50 challenge, we release the first multimodal, publicly available, in-vivo, dataset for surgical action recognition and semantic instrumentation segmentation, containing 50 suturing video segments of Robotic Assisted Radical Prostatectomy (RARP). The aim of the challenge is twofold. First, to enable researchers to leverage the scale of the provided dataset and develop robust and highly accurate single-task action recognition and tool segmentation approaches in the surgical domain. Second, to further explore the potential of multitask-based learning approaches and determine their comparative advantage against their single-task counterparts. A total of 12 teams participated in the challenge, contributing 7 action recognition methods, 9 instrument segmentation techniques, and 4 multitask approaches that integrated both action recognition and instrument segmentation.
Context-aware decision support in the operating room can foster surgical safety and efficiency by leveraging real-time feedback from surgical workflow analysis. Most existing works recognize surgical activities at a coarse-grained level, such as phases, steps or events, leaving out fine-grained interaction details about the surgical activity; yet those are needed for more helpful AI assistance in the operating room. Recognizing surgical actions as triplets of <instrument, verb, target> combination delivers comprehensive details about the activities taking place in surgical videos. This paper presents CholecTriplet2021: an endoscopic vision challenge organized at MICCAI 2021 for the recognition of surgical action triplets in laparoscopic videos. The challenge granted private access to the large-scale CholecT50 dataset, which is annotated with action triplet information. In this paper, we present the challenge setup and assessment of the state-of-the-art deep learning methods proposed by the participants during the challenge. A total of 4 baseline methods from the challenge organizers and 19 new deep learning algorithms by competing teams are presented to recognize surgical action triplets directly from surgical videos, achieving mean average precision (mAP) ranging from 4.2% to 38.1%. This study also analyzes the significance of the results obtained by the presented approaches, performs a thorough methodological comparison between them, in-depth result analysis, and proposes a novel ensemble method for enhanced recognition. Our analysis shows that surgical workflow analysis is not yet solved, and also highlights interesting directions for future research on fine-grained surgical activity recognition which is of utmost importance for the development of AI in surgery.
* CholecTriplet2021 challenge report. Submitted to journal of Medical
Image Analysis. 22 pages, 8 figures, 11 tables
Surgical scene segmentation is essential for anatomy and instrument localization which can be further used to assess tissue-instrument interactions during a surgical procedure. In 2017, the Challenge on Automatic Tool Annotation for cataRACT Surgery (CATARACTS) released 50 cataract surgery videos accompanied by instrument usage annotations. These annotations included frame-level instrument presence information. In 2020, we released pixel-wise semantic annotations for anatomy and instruments for 4670 images sampled from 25 videos of the CATARACTS training set. The 2020 CATARACTS Semantic Segmentation Challenge, which was a sub-challenge of the 2020 MICCAI Endoscopic Vision (EndoVis) Challenge, presented three sub-tasks to assess participating solutions on anatomical structure and instrument segmentation. Their performance was assessed on a hidden test set of 531 images from 10 videos of the CATARACTS test set.
PURPOSE: Surgical workflow and skill analysis are key technologies for the next generation of cognitive surgical assistance systems. These systems could increase the safety of the operation through context-sensitive warnings and semi-autonomous robotic assistance or improve training of surgeons via data-driven feedback. In surgical workflow analysis up to 91% average precision has been reported for phase recognition on an open data single-center dataset. In this work we investigated the generalizability of phase recognition algorithms in a multi-center setting including more difficult recognition tasks such as surgical action and surgical skill. METHODS: To achieve this goal, a dataset with 33 laparoscopic cholecystectomy videos from three surgical centers with a total operation time of 22 hours was created. Labels included annotation of seven surgical phases with 250 phase transitions, 5514 occurences of four surgical actions, 6980 occurences of 21 surgical instruments from seven instrument categories and 495 skill classifications in five skill dimensions. The dataset was used in the 2019 Endoscopic Vision challenge, sub-challenge for surgical workflow and skill analysis. Here, 12 teams submitted their machine learning algorithms for recognition of phase, action, instrument and/or skill assessment. RESULTS: F1-scores were achieved for phase recognition between 23.9% and 67.7% (n=9 teams), for instrument presence detection between 38.5% and 63.8% (n=8 teams), but for action recognition only between 21.8% and 23.3% (n=5 teams). The average absolute error for skill assessment was 0.78 (n=1 team). CONCLUSION: Surgical workflow and skill analysis are promising technologies to support the surgical team, but are not solved yet, as shown by our comparison of algorithms. This novel benchmark can be used for comparable evaluation and validation of future work.
International challenges have become the de facto standard for comparative assessment of image analysis algorithms given a specific task. Segmentation is so far the most widely investigated medical image processing task, but the various segmentation challenges have typically been organized in isolation, such that algorithm development was driven by the need to tackle a single specific clinical problem. We hypothesized that a method capable of performing well on multiple tasks will generalize well to a previously unseen task and potentially outperform a custom-designed solution. To investigate the hypothesis, we organized the Medical Segmentation Decathlon (MSD) - a biomedical image analysis challenge, in which algorithms compete in a multitude of both tasks and modalities. The underlying data set was designed to explore the axis of difficulties typically encountered when dealing with medical images, such as small data sets, unbalanced labels, multi-site data and small objects. The MSD challenge confirmed that algorithms with a consistent good performance on a set of tasks preserved their good average performance on a different set of previously unseen tasks. Moreover, by monitoring the MSD winner for two years, we found that this algorithm continued generalizing well to a wide range of other clinical problems, further confirming our hypothesis. Three main conclusions can be drawn from this study: (1) state-of-the-art image segmentation algorithms are mature, accurate, and generalize well when retrained on unseen tasks; (2) consistent algorithmic performance across multiple tasks is a strong surrogate of algorithmic generalizability; (3) the training of accurate AI segmentation models is now commoditized to non AI experts.
The stereo correspondence and reconstruction of endoscopic data sub-challenge was organized during the Endovis challenge at MICCAI 2019 in Shenzhen, China. The task was to perform dense depth estimation using 7 training datasets and 2 test sets of structured light data captured using porcine cadavers. These were provided by a team at Intuitive Surgical. 10 teams participated in the challenge day. This paper contains 3 additional methods which were submitted after the challenge finished as well as a supplemental section from these teams on issues they found with the dataset.