From MII's origins in leading the development of picture archive and communication systems to biomedical and imaging informatics.
Creating the first generation of PACS
Our research group first started with the development of PACS (picture archive and communication systems) in 1985 in the UCLA Department of Radiological Sciences, having helped pioneer many of the concepts used today in clinical practice. PACS projects involved the assessment of specific technologies (e.g., computed tomography, CT; magnetic resonance, MR) and imaging standards, including support for the development of the now ubiquitous DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) standard.
Exploring teleradiology and telemedicine
Ensuing research work tackled the challenges in distributed, networked medical environments, with some of the first original work in teleradiology and telemedicine in the 1990s. Known at the time as UCLA Telemedicine, the group focused on ideas in developing an electronic infrastructure to support individually tailored medicine (ITM) and evidence-based radiology. Key innovations during this time included a new process of patient care based on imaging (implemented today and shown to improve healthcare while lowering costs); streamlined physician-physician communication via teleconsultations; and early demonstrations of medical natural language processing (NLP) in the domain of radiology.
Evolving into medical imaging informatics
Subsequently, with the growth of the field and diversity of our research, the group was renamed in 2002 to UCLA Medical Imaging Informatics (MII). This change also reflected the beginning of our graduate training program in imaging informatics. With the increasingly common use of imaging as an in vivo method for understanding disease, the MII group focused on the development of different methods for image standardization nd understanding, as well as the integration of imaging to drive clinical understanding. Works included: the creation of medical image processing algorithms and classifiers, including content-based image retrieval (CBIR) applications
A biomedical and imaging informatics research and training group
Today, MII's faculty and students' work spans beyond imaging to the broader area of biomedical informatics. Our research efforts involve imaging and imaging-related information; techniques for correlating imaging and genomic datasets; the development of structured reporting and statistical NLP methods; the use of information extraction (IE) methods to automatically identify and structure concepts (e.g., in free-text reports, medical literature) and relationships; the development of spatio-temporal probabilistic models to represent a disease (i.e., disease modeling), including the use of Bayesian belief networks and influence diagrams to guide clinical decisions; and the creation of novel visualizations that integrate and filter clinical and imaging information (e.g., from the electronic health record, EHR).