The Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics application developers are committed to the transparency and collaboration of open source software. Our programmers use the GitHub repositories to store and share their projects. This means that anyone, even someone outside of CHOP, can contribute to the code.

Recently, an outside developer made a significant contribution to code for a DICOM (medical image format) anonymizer project originally created by DBHi’s Jeff Miller, supervisor, research informatics. The user, Blake Dewey, a graduate student with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, significantly updated the code and added some new features, most notably the ability to do date shifting instead of setting all dates in the file to the same date. He used the code in an analysis project of structural MRI scans, working with clinical collaborators who have acquired the scans over many years.

Dewey shared, "I had been looking for a simple way for collaborators to de-identify their data before we could access it and any solution needed to have batch processing capabilities (some projects have > 400 subjects). Most importantly, however, it needed to be simple to understand and use. With a few adjustments to an already existing framework, dicom-anon fit the bill.”

DBHi’ application developers find that this kind of community-based software development is a better way of building software where they can experience the resourcefulness and "collective intelligence" of an open source community.