Primer for image informatics in personalized medicine

Young Hwan Chang, Patrick Foley, Vahid Azimi, Rohan Borkar, Jonathan Lefman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Image informatics encompasses the concept of extracting and quantifying information contained in image data. Scenes, what an image contains, come from many imager devices such as consumer electronics, medical imaging systems, 3D laser scanners, microscopes, or satellites. There is a marked increase in image informatics applications as there have been simultaneous advances in imaging platforms, data availability due to social media, and big data analytics. An area ready to take advantage of these developments is personalized medicine, the concept where the goal is tailor healthcare to the individual. Patient health data is computationally profiled against a large of pool of feature-rich data from other patients to ideally optimize how a physician chooses care. One of the daunting challenges is how to effectively utilize medical image data in personalized medicine. Reliable data analytics products require as much automation as possible, which is a difficulty for data like histopathology and radiology images because we require highly trained expert physicians to interpret the information. This review targets biomedical scientists interested in getting started on tackling image analytics. We present high level discussions of sample preparation and image acquisition; data formats; storage and databases; image processing; computer vision and machine learning; and visualization and interactive programming. Examples will be covered using existing open-source software tools such as ImageJ, CellProfiler, and IPython Notebook. We discuss how difficult real-world challenges faced by image informatics and personalized medicine are being tackled with open-source biomedical data and software.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Engineering
StatePublished - 2016
EventHumanitarian Technology: Science, Systems and Global Impact 2016, HumTech2016 - Boston, United States
Duration: Jun 7 2016Jun 9 2016


  • bioinformatics
  • image analytics
  • image informatics
  • personalized medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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