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All data is encrypted prior to transmission to UAMS. All incoming data is captured in a quarantine system and treated as if it contains PHI. All TCIA personnel are trained in HIPAA regulations and procedures. TCIA servers are managed by UAMS IT as if they were UAMS clinical systems. Once the full analysis and de-identification is complete, data is moved to a separate public repository and made available to the research community.  This process has been reviewed by the UAMS Chief Security Officer.

Pathology Curation Overview

A TCIA submission expert will work with an Imaging point of contact from your site to receive your data.  The submission expert will provide instructions to clean common locations where PHI might exist (e.g. file names, slide labels) and a link to upload the data into our secure UAMS Box system.  Upon receipt the slides are visually reviewed for burned in PHI, incorrectly labeled slides, scan quality issues and ensuring filenames match labels.  Metadata fields are also reviewed to ensure they contain no PHI.  Slide types supported include: Aperio (.svs, .tif)Hamamatsu (.vms, .vmu, .ndpi)Leica (.scn)MIRAX (.mrxs)Philips (.tiff)Sakura (.svslide)Trestle (.tif)Ventana (.bif, .tif) and Generic tiled TIFF (.tif).

Radiology Curation Overview


Following industry best-practices, TCIA uses a standards-based approach to de-identification of DICOM images to insure that images are free of protected health information (PHI).  The TCIA de-identification process ensures that the HIPAA de-identification standard is met by following the Safe Harbor Method as defined in section 164.514(b)(2) of the HIPPA HIPAA Privacy Rule. The standard for de-identification of DICOM objects is defined by Attribute Confidentiality Profile – DICOM PS 3.15: Appendix E. At the submitting site, a DICOM PS 3.15 compliant script removes or modifies DICOM tags deemed to be unsafe (See table 1 for a complete listing). TCIA incorporates the “Basic Application Confidentiality Profile” which is amended by inclusion of the following profile options: Clean Pixel Data Option, Clean Descriptors Option, Retain Longitudinal With Modified Dates Option, Retain Patient Characteristics Option, Retain Device Identity Option, and Retain Safe Private Option.  The de-identification rules applied to each object are recorded by TCIA in the DICOM sequence Method Code Sequence [0012,0063] by entering the Code Value, Coding Scheme Designator, and Code Meaning for each profile and option that were applied to the DICOM object during de-identification. The DICOM standard for de-identification of objects defines a minimum set of elements to de-identify to be in compliance with the standard. It is up to the user doing the de-identification to insure that PHI is removed or cleaned according to the laws and practices in place at the time de-identification occurs.