Imaging data is both large and complex, and is typically stored separately from other research data in specialist centres. Until recently, the infrastructure did not exist to bring imaging data together at scale, and this is a very important step to take in conducting the large-scale studies we need for dementia.
DPUK’s imaging informatics provides the infrastructure to bring imaging data from different pre-existing studies together. These different studies, known as 'cohorts' have different ways of naming and categorising data. In bringing all this data together, our imaging experts are making sure that researchers are able to compare accurately the different measures taken in different studies so they can work with all this important data together.
The logistics of managing large amounts of data for hundreds of MRI-PET scans is complex. Each scan goes through multiple quality-control checks. The data must then be processed to make sure they are suitable for subsequent analyses. - Heidi Murray-Smith, Research Study Coordinator, MRC national survey of health and development neuroimaging
DPUK's imaging informatics platform is an environment like the Data Portal which analysts can access remotely. Scientists working on DPUK's imaging informatics platform do not have to download extremely large datasets to conduct their analyses, which lowers the technical barrier to performing image analysis in research.