Biomedically-relevant, quality-assessed imaging data as well as associated biomolecular and clinical resources are essential for generating knowledge about the causes of human disease, both common and rare. This knowledge leads to improvement in diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of these diseases. Population surveys and data collections are the driving force of technological development, proactive health programs, and preventive medicine.
Bio-medical imaging allows non- or minimally-invasive assessment of structural and functional changes in humans that may reflect specific pathology. Recent developments in image data acquisition and analysis enable use of these techniques on a large scale. This makes it possible to investigate specific pathophysiological substrates of disease in a pre-symptomatic phase and at the population level. Population imaging is the large-scale application and analysis of medical images in controlled population cohorts. Population imaging aims to find imaging biomarkers that allow prediction and early diagnosis of diseases and preventive therapy.
The European Population Imaging Infrastructure (EPI2) will provide a dedicated environment for coordination of data acquisition at different locations or different time points to be directly compared and communally analyzed, thereby exponentially increasing the impact of population imaging studies.