In September, the University of Chicago’s Medical Imaging and Data Resource Center (MIDRC) was chosen as one of the participants in a new program designed to enhance the management of biomedical data for health research.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) Biomedical Data Fabric (BDF) Toolbox is an initiative to de-risk technologies for an easily deployable, multi-modal, multi-scale, connected data ecosystem for biomedical data. MIDRC will provide domain expertise and data commons technology development in medical imaging.

“MIDRC’s involvement in the ARPA-H BDF Toolbox will include development and deployment of medical imaging data commons architectures and resources to support various diseases and applications for the toolbox,” says MIDRC principal investigator Maryellen L. Giger, PhD, the A.N. Pritzker Distinguished Service Professor of Radiology, Committee on Medical Physics at UChicago.

ARPA-H is enlisting multiple performers who are experts in their fields to build components of the ARPA-H BDF Toolbox. MIDRC’s expertise stems from developing the repository in which MIDRC imaging data are harmonized and vetted by clinical, artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML), and data science domain experts and are aligned with a common data model. The public open data commons was created “at scale” and is interoperable with other data commons to enable multi-modal, multi-omics research as well as rigorous statistical evaluations.

MIDRC also includes a user portal for cohort building and downloading, allowing for multiple reuses of the data by various AI/ML developers for various specific tasks. Importantly, MIDRC has also produced various resources such as a metrology decision tree and a bias awareness tool for aiding in bias mitigation as well as multiple algorithms/software.

The ARPA-H BDF Toolbox will help make research data easier and more reliable to use, reduce effort for data integration, and enable new capabilities and models that can be applied across disciplines and generalized across disease domains.

MIDRC, supported by NIH NIBIB, is jointly led by researchers from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, the Radiological Society of North America, and the American College of Radiology. It operates within the Gen3 data ecosystem and is hosted at the University of Chicago.