Open your eyes to the power of image-based online searching

2012

Challenge

Illustrations in medical literature contribute greatly to understanding complex biomedical concepts—for researchers, scientists, and the lay public alike. However, bibliographic databases are mostly text-based; hence the need for systems that deliver citations enriched by visual material, for example, radiographic images, photographs, sketches, graphs, or charts.

Advance

IRP researchers Dina Demner-Fushman, M.D., Ph.D., and Sameer Antani, Ph.D., led the development of Open-i (pronounced “open eye”), a novel open-access biomedical image search engine. In addition to image search capabilities, Open-i also provides outcome—or “take away”—statements extracted from a collection of 250,000 open access articles and 1 million illustrations in the biomedical literature hosted at the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central® repository.

Impact

As the first production-quality system of its kind in the biomedical domain, Open-i enables medical professionals and the public to access both highly relevant visual information and key outcome statements from biomedical publications. Just a few months after public release, the site had more than 5,000 unique visitors per day and was ranked 382nd in the world (among 30 million Web sites) Overview of Openi.nlm.nih.gov.

Publications

The Open-i Website: http://openi.nlm.nih.gov/index.php.