Eight Years of Dental and Craniofacial Bionetwork for Image Analysis

March 20, 2017

Dental and Craniofacial Bionetwork for Image Analysis (DCBIA) started in 2009 as a late child to the National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NA-MIC).  Inspired by NA-MIC, DCBIA wanted to bring open-software tools for medical image computing to the dental field. In particular, DCBIA wanted to develop cutting-edge computational algorithms specific to dental applications, using 3D Slicer as our main dissemination mechanism. DCBIA saw a lot of potential to take advantage of open-source technologies that could facilitate collaboration, enable sharing across institutions and make it possible to reuse code and data results.

Currently, DCBIA is celebrating its eighth year as a multi-institutional, translational group in dental imaging research, and I would like to share some numbers that represent the multiple efforts DCBIA has made towards its initial vision.

DCBIA has developed a dozen of extensions that have enhanced model support and processing functionality for Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) images in 3D Slicer. They are all disseminated as open source, free software.

DCBIA has organized seven training workshops to teach dental researchers how to use its tools for their personal research. The ability to visualize the face in three dimensions, thanks to reconstructions obtained from three-dimensional (3D) data, does not imply the ability to quantify growth or treatment changes. DCBIA been organizing the workshops to help researchers understand the complexities of doing image analysis in the craniomaxillofacial complex. Four of those workshops were hosted as part of the Joint Cephalometric Expert group (in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014). Since 2015, DCBIA has also organized training workshops at the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) General Session & Exhibition (2015, 2016, 2017).

The DCBIA YouTube channel was populated with 18 videos that were watched for a total of 17,851 minutes, with a total of 8,358 views. The videos have reached viewers in 79 different countries, with the highest reach in the U.S. and Brazil.

DCBIA has released four versions of SlicerCMF, a customized version of 3D Slicer for dental researchers.

DCBIA dissemination efforts have contributed to the expansion of the pool of researchers who will use and develop methods for advancing the field of patient-specific modeling using 3D image analysis in dentistry. The initial mission of the DCBIA was to enable dental imaging research and to train clinicians, researchers and software developers by providing access to many different resources and training materials including software, documentation, training materials and video tutorials. Looking at the above numbers, I am happy to report that DCBIA is accomplishing that mission.

Members of DCBIA, myself included, are gearing up to teach the seventh DCBIA workshop at IADR 2017; to celebrate the eighth anniversary of DCBIA; and to renew our current project for temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis, which has created so many useful dental image analysis tools and trained close to 100 people at in-person workshops, as well as thousands online. We believe this effort has spanned numerous research projects at different institutions and centers around the world, and that it will continue to help level up the ground of medical image computing in dental research.

On a final note, DCBIA is very excited to count Kitware as one of its collaborators moving forward!

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