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Definition of project

The goal of this project is to create a survey of Publicly Available InVivo Medical Imaging Archives and the underlying software capabilities. It is generally agreed that there is a need for public medical imaging archives to provide the biomedical research community, industry, and academia with access to images that support:

The purpose of this project is to provide a practical guide for the community which allows them to:

  1. to assess existing software and instantiations that are appropriate to their research or clinical needs.
  2. to locate relevant  publicly available data for research

Publicly Hosted Biomedical Imaging Archives



Central XNAT

Image Data Archive

BIRN Data Repository

NIRL Imaging Database

Give A Scan

Optical Society of America (OSA)

Pediatric MRI Data Repository


Cancer Imaging Program, caBIG


Lab of NeuroImaging UCLA (LONI)



Lung Cancer Alliance

Optical Society of America


Content Type

In Vivo Cancer Imaging


ADNI (Alzheimers),
CRYO (histology),
ICBM (Brain mapping),
AIBL (Autralian Aging)

Alzheimer's Medical Imaging

ELUDE (Elderly Depression),
MIRIAD (Depression)

Patient-contributed Medical scans

Autism Research


Archive Software



Image Data Archive





Active Community








Central curation/review








Explicit data sharing policy (link)
















Submission Technology








Standard of De-Identification

Supplement 142 w/ Keep Description, Retain Device Info options enabled







Support for multi-site submissions








Project- or collection- based groupings?








Size of Current Volume








Federated implementation








Public API








number of DICOM Tags query-able








DICOM transfer protocol

For submission, but not download







methods to download DICOM data

Web, FTP, Java Webstart client







Affiliation with Journal








Support New Collection?











LONI homepage:

Image Data Archive -


BIRN data portal:

BIRN is connected with multiple institutions which host multiple archives using different software and containing different data sets.

Lung Cancer Alliance: Give A Scan

From their homepage-

*Give A Scan* is the world's first patient-powered, publicly available archive of images and clinical data on lung cancer patients. All the data has been donated by patients in order to encourage more researchers to focus on lung cancer and to accelerate progress in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer which is now the leading cause of cancer death worldwide.

As of August 2010 the archive contains 9 "communities" which appear to be 9 patients with lung cancer totaling approximately 1GB of data.  The site provides some meta data information about the images and clinical info about the subjects.  Images are hosted in DICOM format.  The archive can be browsed by Community/patient/study/series or searched by modality and other image meta data.

The archive is hosted by the Kitware image archive solution called MIDAS:

Optical Society of America (OSA)

This archive is a collection of optical images. Like the Lung Cancer Alliance archive it is also hosted using Kitware's MIDAS archive software. This archive hosts 6 top level "communities" which contain anywhere from 4 to 242 items within them. In this case it seems not all of the data is DICOM but some of it is. Three of the Communities appear to be unrelated demonstration collections not tied to OSA as they contain lesion sizing data sets of lung images.


WebMIRS is the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) tool used for hosting two related datasets and related spine x-ray images which are part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The site requires registration and login through a java web client to view the data set. Most of the data is text based, but there are spine x-rays for some of the patients. The client allows for searching but not really browsing. The user must enter a boolean search query in order to retrieve any patient results. It does not appear that it is possible to actually download the images, rather that you can only view them in the WebMIRS client.


National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NA-MIC) Image Gallery:

As of August 2010 this consisted of ~376 images.  All images appear to be JPGs or similar compressed file types rather than actual DICOM.  The purpose of this gallery seems to be to create a repository for images, charts, and figures referenced in publications submitted to NA-MIC's publication database (   Images can be browsed by patient/study/series or searched by modality and a number of other image based features.

National Database for Autism Research (NDAR)

According to

The Pediatric MRI Data Repository will be the first in this series to be made available to ASD researchers, in the summer of 2010. At that time, investigators will be able to perform a single query in the NDAR portal to view results across multiple datasets.

The original Pediatric MRI Data Repository is located at Access to the data requires filling out multiple forms and faxing them to an office at NIH to receive permission. I have not yet requested access at this time to find out exactly what's in the archive, however some information about their quality control processes reveal a little about the image protocols and can be learned about here:

NIH Image Bank

The NIH Image Bank is located at

According to

The NIH Image Bank contains images from the collections of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health. Contents include general biomedical and science-related images, clinicians, computers, patient care-related images, microscopy images, and various exterior images.

The point of the image bank appears to be more for promotional and marketing images. I did not notice any high quality medical images of actual patients or DICOM files which might be usable for research purposes.

European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)

According to their site investigators can make requests for access to data collected as part of EORTC trials after the primary end point has been published on. I did not see any place that outlined what trials are being conducted, what trials have been completed and reached their publication of primary endpoint, or exactly what types of data are collected. However in the PDF on this page which outlines their data sharing policy in more detail it lists in the section "4.3 Data Transfer" that "data will preferentially transferred in the form of an ASCII file (with .dat extension), with associated SAS programs to load the data into SAS." I saw no mention of how they handle images in this section and thus assume they may not collect or distribute any.

Image archive software solutions















Query flexibility







Role Based Security







Public access option







Active Development






Supports Federated Implementation







API available







Supported image formats







Supported metadata formats







Helpdesk support







Transfer protocols (import/export)







Controlled Vocabulary







Deployment Support







Support Operating Systems







Active Development Community