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A clinical neuroimaging platform built on community standards

Preparing and analysing neuroimaging data is complex and time consuming, and requires a certain technological skillset. This makes neuroimaging analysis hard to perform for those not familiar with the tools and methods. Using standards can help bridge the gap.

A collaboration between French researchers and clinicians has leveraged the BIDS (the Brain Imaging Data Structure) standard for neuroimaging datasets and the tool ecosystem that has developed around BIDS to build an easy-to-use neuroimaging data analysis platform for those who conduct clinical neuroscience studies. The platform is called Clinica and is targeting clinicians as well as researchers developing machine learning algorithms.

Clinica’s core is a set of automatic pipelines for processing and analysis of multimodal neuroimaging data; currently T1-weighted MRI, diffusion MRI and PET data. The platform also includes tools for statistics and machine learning, and converters that can turn several large public datasets (ADNI, AIBL, OASIS and NIFD) into BIDS format. Analyses made using Clinica will be reproducible and easy to share.

Currently, the platform has a command line interface. The team aims to develop a visual dashboard for executing the pipelines and performing quality control, and to make Clinica available as a cloud service.