Progress in our understanding of brain disorders increasingly relies on the costly collection of large standardized brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data sets. Moreover, the clinical interpretation of brain scans benefits from compare and contrast analyses of scans from patients with similar, and sometimes rare, demographic, diagnostic, and treatment status. A solution to both needs is to acquire standardized, research-ready clinical brain scans and to build the information technology infrastructure to share such scans, along with other pertinent information, across hospitals. This paper describes the design, deployment, and operation of a federated imaging system that captures and shares standardized, de-identified clinical brain images in a federation across multiple institutions. In addition to describing innovative aspects of the system architecture and our initial testing of the deployed infrastructure, we also describe the Standardized Imaging Protocol (SIP) developed for the project and our interactions with the Institutional Review Board (IRB) regarding handling patient data in the federated environment.
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