Organic Light Emitting Diode Monitors for Medical Applications: Great Timing, but Luminance Artifacts


PURPOSE: In contrast to the dominant medical liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) monitors control the display luminance via separate light-emitting diodes for each pixel and are therefore supposed to overcome many previously documented temporal artifacts of medical LCDs. We assessed the temporal and luminance characteristics of the only currently available OLED monitor designed for use in the medical treatment field (SONY PVM2551MD) and checked the authors' main findings with another SONY OLED device (PVM2541). METHODS: Temporal properties of the photometric output were measured with an optical transient recorder. Luminances of the three color primaries and white for all 256 digital driving levels (DDLs) were measured with a spectroradiometer. Between the luminances of neighboring DDLs, just noticeable differences were calculated according to a perceptual model developed for medical displays. Luminances of full screen (FS) stimuli were compared to luminances of smaller stimuli with identical DDLs. RESULTS: All measured luminance transition times were below 300 μs. Luminances were independent of the luminance in the preceding frame. However, for the single color primaries, up to 50.5% of the luminances of neighboring DDLs were not perceptually distinguishable. If two color primaries were active simultaneously, between 36.7% and 55.1% of neighboring luminances for increasing DDLs of the third primary were even decreasing. Moreover, luminance saturation effects were observed when too many pixels were active simultaneously. This effect was strongest for white; a small white patch was close to 400 cd/m(2), but in FS the luminance of white saturated at 162 cd/m(2). Due to different saturation levels, the luminance of FS green and FS yellow could exceed the luminance of FS white for identical DDLs. CONCLUSIONS: The OLED temporal characteristics are excellent and superior to those of LCDs. However, the OLEDs revealed severe perceptually relevant artifacts with implications for applicability to medical imaging.