PICTURES is investigating data science, engineering and cyber security to enhance the Scottish Medical Images (SMI) Service, supporting bigger datasets, smart searches, more ambitious high—tech projects. These are the drivers and aims for the project.
Pre 2007 – Scotland was the birthplace of medical ultrasound imaging and MRI and works hard to maintain its position of excellence.
SINAPSE, a partnership of six Scottish Universities – Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews and Stirling – is established with a view to making best use of Scottish facilities and expertise in medical imaging and develop skills for the next generation of professionals working in this field.
The Data Sharing Review report, conducted for the UK Ministry of Justice in 2008, called for the greater use of ‘safe havens’ to permit “important statistical and research analysis to proceed, while minimising the risk of identifying individuals from within datasets”. This report defined a safe haven as “[an] environment for population based research and statistical analysis in which the risk of identifying individuals is minimised” i.e. a place where research can be done on sensitive data such that the risk of disclosure is reduced by controlling who can have access, what data they can analyse and what outputs can be taken away. (SHIP website)
Historically Safe Havens have supported observational studies on text-based structured data using standard statistical packages. There is a growing need from the research community (academic and industrial) for Safe Haven environments to provide additional capability above that of standard statistical packages to support advanced analysis including machine learning on image-based unstructured data without compromising the security or privacy of the data. Work begins on the concept, design and grant proposal for an interdisciplinary programme of work aimed at providing safe and secure resources for delivering large-scale, anonymised, routinely collected clinical images for researchers while meeting strict data governance requirements.
The Health Informatics Centre (HIC) at University of Dundee establishes a remote-access “Safe Haven” environment to protect data confidentiality, satisfy public concerns about data loss and provide data management assurance to Data Controllers.
A project, initially named the Creation of a National Clinical Imaging Research Dataset for Scotland, was established in 2013 as part of the Farr Scotland research programme. This project was the first concrete step in establishing a Scottish Medical Imaging (SMI) capability, it addressed the technical and data governance challenges in obtaining a research copy of the National PACS data and hosting this data within the extended National Safe Haven Infrastructure (managed by Edinburgh University under the control of NSS).
EPCC now infrastructure providers for Scotland’s National Safe Haven. The NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) national safe haven service implementation work started in September 2015 with the live service rolled out during December and January 2016. (blog post)
NSS and EPCC working with the Health Informatics Centre at the University of Dundee to provide researchers with access to the Scottish NHS imaging data (X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound etc) dating from 2010 onwards. (blog post)
12 month collaboration between eDRIS / EPCC and Health Informatics Centre at the University of Dundee to deliver a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in the form of a technology platform to support handling and de-identification of clinical images.
November, a pan-Scotland collaboration of 15 partners from across academia, industry, and the NHS has been awarded £10M by Innovate UK to establish a Scottish centre of excellence in medical imaging and digital pathology with artificial intelligence (AI). The Industrial Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research in Digital Diagnostics (iCAIRD) will be centred at the University of Glasgow’s Clinical Innovation Zone at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. (see SINAPSE article)
Scottish Medical Imaging (SMI) Service project takes technology delivered by the MVP project and turns it into a service through which researchers can request and access research-relevant cohorts including image data.
April, a Scottish consortium of partners from academia, industry, and the NHS has been awarded £3.8M for a project entitled InterdisciPlInary Collaboration for efficienT and effective Use of clinical images in big health care RESearch (PICTURES). Led by the University of Dundee, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, Abertay University, NHS Scotland, and industry collaborators, the project received funding through an MRC Industry Collaboration Agreement, with additional support from EPSRC and as part of HDR UK. (see SINAPSE article)
March, a new Project Manager joins the PICTURES project.
PICTURES mid-term review point where key collaborators critically evaluate and report to the funding body on benefits delivered by the programme to date
July, PICTURES 5-year programme grant ends (pending midterm review)