Data and Image Analysis Special Interest Group Meeting,

SBS 13th Conference – Montreal, Canada

Tuesday, April 17 2007, from 1:00pm to 2:30pm, Room 513B

This meeting was devoted exclusively to discussing image and data exchange standard for HCS/HCA in response to the growing feeling in the HCS/HCA community that the lack of interoperability among the various commercial offerings is impeding the acceptance, usefulness, and growth of this field. Realizing that a standard that enables software interoperability would improve productivity and enhance innovation in the HCS/HCA field, SBS intends to form a Committee on the Image and Data Exchange Standard for HCS/HCA. In preparation for the launch of this committee the following topics were open for discussion:

  • Why do we need a standard and what is wrong with the current software landscape in HCS/HCA? What problems do end-users encounter due to the lack of such a standard?
  • What should such a standard encompass? If you were writing the standard, what features or capabilities would you include?
  • There are now more than ten standards related to image and data exchange. Can we adopt one of them as is or with minor modifications? Is anything missing in the existing standards and what? Is there anything in these standards that we do not want and what? What is unique to the field of HCS/HCA?
  • If there was an accepted standard, how would it change your workflow and purchasing decisions (user perspective)? How would it change your product development decisions (vendor perspective)?
  • Technical details: e.g., exchange format vs. native format, ease of import/export, difficulty of implementation, storage, access, etc.
  • How do we get from here to there? Who is interested enough to spend time and money? What are the steps and the timeline? How to reach consensus? How to get buy-in from vendors/developers?
  • Nomination for the Standard Committee.


Introduction (Kurt Scudder and Ilya Ravkin)

1. Jeff Price, Burnham Institute for Medical Research

“Data Storage Challenges for Primary HCS in Burnham's NIH Molecular Libraries Screening Center”

2. Curtis Rueden, Lead Informatics Developer, Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation UW-Madison

"Open Microscopy Environment File Formats: OME-XML, OME-TIFF and Bio-Formats"

3. Mark Collins, Marketing Manager, Cellular Imaging & Analysis, Thermo Fisher Scientific

"MIAHA - Minimum Information for a High Content Assay - a proposal for a standard for high content analysis data interchange"

4. Seungtaek Lee, Senior Applications Scientist, Evotec Technologies (A PerkinElmer Company)

"Interface Standards in HCS"

5. J. Paul Robinson, SVM Professor of Cytomics, Purdue University and President, International Society for Analytical Cytology (ISAC)

"ISAC's perspective on data: standards, structure and analysis"

6. Ilya Ravkin, Imaging Consultant

"Why is this Standard Different From All Other Standards"

7.(*) Patrick Courtney, PerkinElmer, Seer Green, UK

"Economics of Standardization"

8.(*) Robert C. Leif, Newport Instruments

"Cytometry Standards Continuum"

(*) These presentations were not delivered orally


At the end of the meeting several people expressed their interest in serving on the SBS Committee on the Image and Data Exchange Standard for HCS/HCA.  We are quite happy with the response and hope that the Committee can be launched in the near future.  We would like to acknowledge the leadership of Thermo Fisher Scientific and Mark Collins personally for their work on a draft standard and the promise to make it public in a few months.  If you would like to be on the Committee or nominate somebody else, please, send email to D&IA SIG co-chairmen Kurt Scudder and/or Ilya Ravkin.

Resources Related to Image and Data Exchange Standard for HCS/HCA