Updated: Apr 13, 2021
Dr. Rudolph Pienaar & Dr. Ellen Grant talk with John Walls and Stu Miniman at Red Hat Summit 2019 in Boston, MA.
Short transcript below:
John Walls: We’re talking about what’s called the ChRIS Project, which was a technically based project at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Grant, if you would, talk about the genesis of this project, what its goal was, and how it’s been carried out.
Dr. Ellen Grant: The goal of the ChRIS Project was to bring innovative imaging analysis to the bedside, to the front end where clinicians like me are working all the time but aren’t sophisticated enough or don’t have enough memory to remember how to do line code in Linux. When I was reading clinical studies and I wanted to run a complex analysis, but there was no way to do it easily, I’d have to call up someone to log into a different computer, bring the images over, and it took lots of complex steps to run that analysis. Even to do any of these analyses, you have to download the program and set up your environment. I would rather deal with the interpretation and understanding the meaning of those images than all the infrastructure steps to bring it together. That was the genesis of ChRIS, trying to have a simple Windows point-and-click way for a physician, such as myself, to be able to rapidly do something interesting and then be able to show it to a clinician in a conference or at the bedside.
John Walls: Who was supplying what kind of manpower to the project?
Dr. Pienaar: In the beginning I would say that we wanted to bring this research software, which lives mostly on Linux, onto a Windows world, right? So, the people developing that software were researchers or computational researchers who do a lot of amazing stuff with image processing. But those tools just never really make it from the research lab outside of that. One of the reasons is because someone like Ellen might not ever want to fire up a terminal and type in these commands. So people working on it are this huge population of researchers making these tools. What I try to help with is how we get those tools really easily usable and accessible, and to make a difference. That was the need that we had in the beginning. It started out as a bunch of shell scripts. Gradually with time, we tried to move to the web. Then it began to grow. Then from the web, stretching to the cloud. That’s kind of the trajectory in a nutshell. As each step moved along, more and more people came into play.
Stu Miniman: Let’s talk about the patient side of things. We talk about order of magnitude that cloud can make things faster and easier, but what does this mean to patient care and quality of service?
-Watch the complete video interview above.