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Intensive medical use of multimedia technologies is rapidly progressing, and digital images will soon be common not only in medical practice, but also in the educational and research activities of biology and medicine. However, there is no standard for the color reproduction of digital images for various displays. Thus two identical images may be diagnosed differently if they are reproduced using different equipment. This problem has arisen in most medical fields, especially in tele-medicine and in electronic patient records, therefore a comprehensive solution must be found before the chaotic spread of this equipment continues without standardization.
From this point of view, this publication was compiled based on the Proceedings of the First Symposium of Color in Digital Imaging for Medicine, which was held in May 1999 for the purpose of identifying the problems associated with color in digital imaging for various medical and biological fields and establishment of a consensus on a solution to these problems among those concerned in various fields.
Reflecting the recent rapid and large progress in this area, some papers required updating with the hottest discoveries made after the symposium and others required summarizing and editing of outdated paragraphs, therefore you will find large differences in length among them. We would be very pleased if the results of such endeavors made by every author of the papers compiled here would contribute to providing the first comprehensive guidebook for everyone interested in this field.
In order to avoid the confusion caused by erroneous color reproduction that can occur in printed material, we decided that all the tables and the figures would be printed in black and white and their colored versions distributed with the digital version of each paper. You will find them either in the attached CD-ROM or at the URL indicated beside the abstract of each paper.
This publication was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Publication of Scientific Research Results from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (http://www.jsps.ab.psiweb.com/) and assistance of the Digital Biocolor Society (http://biocolor.umin.ac.jp/), which will also guarantee every version of each paper to be the original according to the Document Identification Number (DIN) indicated beside the abstract of each paper.
Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Hirayanagi and Mr. Kon of ID Corporation for their patience and diligence in completing all of the tasks involved.

1st Oct., 2000

Hiroshi TANAKA