Gian Marco, thank you for sharing this. The issue you identified is something we have been thinking about earlier. It is very important to be able to identify specific kinds of series, especially for feeding existing analysis tools (this was the motivation that triggered our earlier discussions on this topic), and you identified additional aspects of data that need to be captured for the benefit of subsequent use.
What we had in mind was to start with additional public BigQuery table(s) that would contain series- and potentially study-level annotations that would be available to the users. As we gain more experience with what needs to be captured, how it should be captured, and as we have more data annotated in this way, we could explore various options for a more persistent location for those attributes (what @dclunie and I discussed so far was storing those as attributes in legacy enhanced converted objects for MR/CT/PT, or in a separate Structured Report object within the same study).
Based on our discussions so far, and your suggestions, we could consider capturing the following at the level of series:
- inherent imaging contrast (i.e., T1/T2/FLAIR for MR)
- acquisition plane (i.e., axial, coronal, sagittal)
- presence of contrast, or timing with respect to contrast (potentially, also administration route for the contrast)
- presence of artifacts or some kind of quality assessment (this of course can be come rather controversial!)
- timing with respect to some event (i.e., pre- or post-surgical scan)
At least initially, this would be a manual process, and complexity will likely depend on the specific collection and task.
I also think that to do it right, we would probably (eventually!) need to have some mechanism of attribution (both in order to give credit to the contributor, but also to help with quality control), and some level of documentation of how this annotation was done. In a sense, such annotation is just another type of image-derived data, not unlike segmentation!
If you have any annotations like the above that you have already done and are willing to share this, please let me know - this will help us get started. Would be great to hear your thoughts.