Medical Imaging: Federation and Compute

Chris Albone1, Ryan P Sullivan1,2

1Information and Communications Technology, University of Sydney, Sydney Australia

2Core Research Facilities, DVC-R, University of Sydney, Sydney Australia




XNAT is an imaging data platform that has been rapidly gaining popularity throughout Australian research institutions and facilities, and worldwide [1]. It has been adopted as part of the National Imaging Facilities (NIF) Trusted Data Repository (TDR) program to provide a standard framework on medical imaging and data provenance.

Similar efforts are underway on the computational component with the Characterization Virtual Labs (CVL) under the Data Enhanced Virtual Lab (DeVL) program funded by NRDC, providing a workbench dedicated to neuroimaging. NIF@UQ has also been working on a DICOM2Cloud project to facilitate automated anonymization of data for computation on public cloud environments.

The University of Sydney is using XNAT as a key component of our Imaging Data Service, and have combined it with compute on our HPC, and VRD, as well as the CVL and GUI informatic pipeline platforms. We are also a participant in the C-DeVL program developing a windows version of CVL workbenches. Research is inherently multi-institutional, and projects will be spanning multiple repositories and computation infrastructure. We would like to raise the natural question of federation of these aligned projects.


We propose a 60 min roundtable with representatives of institutions with XNAT, or who are looking at deploying XNAT systems. The roundtable will discuss the following:

  • What is the current status of deployments? Plans for the immediate future. (20 min)
  1. What might XNAT federation look like? Federated metadata search? Federated data search? (15 min)
  2. CVL is being federated. What about other characterization and informatics workflow platforms? Shared repository of Singularity/Docker pipelines to use in XNAT and/or HPC? (15 min)
  3. Should a standard anonymization toolset be adopted when transferring between these repositories and centers of compute? (10 min)


Dr Sullivan is a biophysicist with an interest in neural implants. His research led him into software development for automatic characterization of implants and neural tissue. Dr Sullivan joined the University of Sydney in 2017 where he now works on eResearch projects focusing on characterization domains.

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