Dataset growth in medical image analysis research

Nahum Kiryati*, Yuval Landau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medical image analysis research requires medical image datasets. Nevertheless, due to various impediments, researchers have been described as “data starved”. We hypothesize that implicit evolving community standards require researchers to use ever-growing datasets. In Phase I of this research, we scanned the MICCAI (Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention) conference proceedings from 2011 to 2018. We identified 907 papers involving human MRI, CT or fMRI datasets and extracted their sizes. The median dataset size had grown by 3–10 times from 2011 to 2018, depending on imaging modality. Statistical analysis revealed exponential growth of the geometric mean dataset size with an annual growth of 21% for MRI, 24% for CT and 31% for fMRI. Thereupon, we had issued a forecast for dataset sizes in MICCAI 2019 well before the conference. In Phase II of this research, we examined the MICCAI 2019 proceedings and analyzed 308 relevant papers. The MICCAI 2019 statistics compare well with the forecast. The revised annual growth rates of the geometric mean dataset size are 27% for MRI, 30% for CT and 32% for fMRI. We predict the respective dataset sizes in the MICCAI 2020 conference (that we have not yet analyzed) and the future MICCAI 2021 conference.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155
JournalJournal of Imaging
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Dataset size
  • Human subjects
  • MICCAI conferences
  • Medical image analysis


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