Mount Sinai Health System has created an Imaging Research Warehouse (IRW) to revolutionize clinical care and translational research to ultimately improve human health. Developed by the Mount Sinai Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute (TMII), the image database integrates clinical imaging with EHRs to enable researchers new access to information about more than 1 million Mount Sinai patients. The IRW is supported by a National Institute of Health pilot program.
For researchers, the images along with the corresponding health records are free of patient identification. Mount Sinai investigators from all areas of medicine can delve into any group of images from anonymous Mount Sinai patients with specific diseases or conditions to explore patterns and traits. By comparing thousands of similar images, they can find new features among those patient groups that they didn’t know existed in hopes of identifying potential similarities in genetics or blood markers, that could lead to diagnostic techniques and cures.
Imaging Research Warehouse Benefits
Creating the IRW will bring significant advances to many diverse aspects of medicine, including mammography, prostate cancer, neuro-degenerative diseases, bowel disease, spine injuries, and genomics. The IRW also has the potential to transform the field of radiology, and streamline the way radiologists read and collect data in the future. Feeding this large data set into machine learning algorithms, for example, will allow radiologists to use specialized software to help evaluate images for known abnormalities. In turn, this may allow for new and more accurate imaging techniques, such as shorter MRIs and CT scans, which will optimize imaging, streamline procedures, and elevate the patient experience.
“The Imaging Research Warehouse is a unique resource that will provide large volumes of de-identified images to the research community” said David Mendelson, MD, Vice Chair, Radiology, Mount Sinai Health System; Professor, Radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This model fills a gap in the new world of healthcare ‘big data.’ The data contained within patients’ radiological images is hard to make use of, and this warehouse is the solution to expose this information for analysis.”