Leadership Team:

Name Affiliation
Ben Cox University College London
Janek Gröhl German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Lina Hacker University of Cambridge


Our overarching goal is to enable intercomparison of photoacoustic imaging (PAI) data between different users (scientific groups / industries). To achieve this goal the Data Acquisition and Management (DAM) theme is conducting work towards three main goals:

Goal 1 is to define an essential list of metadata to fully characterise the format of PAI data acquired from commercial and custom-built PAI instruments and to transfer the device-specific data of instruments within the consortium to an open access database. Goal 2 is to implement an open source tool that enables conversion to the prior agreed standardized data format (HDF5). Goal 3 is to provide an open-access platform for PA reference data that can be used for comparison of processing algorithms etc.


A table summarizing information on the technical specifications of all PAI systems that are used within the consortium has been created and three main recommendations have been made: (1) To initially only include raw time series data into the standardization, (2) To use HDF5 as the standardized file format, and (3) To create a standardized list of metadata parameters. Furthermore, the working group has formulated a plan to create an open source conversion tool between data formats.

Proposed deliverables:

Towards goal 1:

  1. Consensus document: This document aims to define a comprehensive list of necessary parameters to fully characterise PAI data. IPASC consensus should be reached on:

  2. (1) Definitions of the required terminology.
    (2) A detailed description of the metadata parameters identified as being essential to characterize PA devices.
    (3) Definition of the physical units and data format of the respective parameters.

  3. Strategy document: This document aims to describe the steps necessary to set up a PA device database. IPASC consensus should be reached on:

  4. (1) A device data collection strategy.
    (2) A device data storage strategy (containing e.g. the database format).
    (3) A tool to transfer the technical information of the PAI devices to the created database.

Towards goal 2:

  1. Software tool: The software tool should be able to provide conversion functionality from multiple different proprietary formats to the agreed HDF5 format including all metadata. This entails:

  2. (1) A requirement analysis: Collection of all requirements for the tool.
    (2) Setup of a code repository: A repository that contains the implementation of the converters.

Towards goal 3:

  1. Strategy document: This document aims to describe a strategy how to create an open access data repository for the reference data sets. IPASC consensus should be reached on:

  2. (1) The ideal composition of a reference data set for comparison of processing algorithms.
    (2) A hosting strategy (single data items; data sets; Application programming interface (API) access)
    (3) A reporting strategy (referencing of raw data sets after processing; computed metrics)