A semantic image annotation model to enable integrative translational research

Summit Transl Bioinform. 2009 Mar 1;2009:106-10.


Integrating and relating images with clinical and molecular data is a crucial activity in translational research, but challenging because the information in images is not explicit in standard computer-accessible formats. We have developed an ontology-based representation of the semantic contents of radiology images called AIM (Annotation and Image Markup). AIM specifies the quantitative and qualitative content that researchers extract from images. The AIM ontology enables semantic image annotation and markup, specifying the entities and relations necessary to describe images. AIM annotations, represented as instances in the ontology, enable key use cases for images in translational research such as disease status assessment, query, and inter-observer variation analysis. AIM will enable ontology-based query and mining of images, and integration of images with data in other ontology-annotated bioinformatics databases. Our ultimate goal is to enable researchers to link images with related scientific data so they can learn the biological and physiological significance of the image content.