Newswise — (New York, NY – May 24, 2017) - The Mount Sinai Health System has announced the creation of the Imaging Research Warehouse (IRW). This massive image database, developed by the Mount Sinai Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute (TMII), is the first of its kind in New York City. The IRW integrates clinical imaging with electronic health records, and as it expands it will give researchers new access to information about more than 1 million Mount Sinai patients. The IRW will revolutionize clinical care and translational research to ultimately improve human health.

“This imaging warehouse is uncharted territory for our scientists, and we are excited to give our imaginations free rein to explore imaging for the first time and think without boundaries,” said Zahi Fayad, PhD, Director, TMII, Professor, Medical Imaging and Bioengineering, Radiology, and Medicine (Cardiology), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “By having this imaging data available, we can find new patterns of disease and new ways to diagnose and develop new treatments.”

The images along with the corresponding health records are free of patient identification. Mount Sinai investigators from all areas of medicine can delve into any group of images from anonymous Mount Sinai patients with specific diseases or conditions to explore patterns and traits. By comparing thousands of similar images, they can find new features among those patient groups that they didn’t know existed in hopes of identifying potential similarities in genetics or blood markers, that could lead to diagnostic techniques and cures.

Creating the IRW will bring significant advances to many diverse aspects of medicine, including mammography, prostate cancer, neuro-degenerative diseases, bowel disease, spine injuries, and genomics. The IRW also has the potential to transform the field of radiology, and streamline the way radiologists read and collect data in the future. Feeding this large data set into machine learning algorithms, for example, will allow radiologists to use specialized software to help evaluate images for known abnormalities. In turn, this may allow for new and more accurate imaging techniques, such as shorter MRIs and CT scans, which will optimize imaging, streamline procedures, and elevate the patient experience.

“The Imaging Research Warehouse is a unique resource that will provide large volumes of de-identified images to the research community” said David Mendelson, MD, Vice Chair, Radiology, Mount Sinai Health System; Professor, Radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This model fills a gap in the new world of healthcare ‘big data.’ The data contained within patients’ radiological images is hard to make use of, and this warehouse is the solution to expose this information for analysis.”

The IRW is supported by a National Institute of Health pilot program.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the “Honor Roll” of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals."

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