Streamlining MEG data project blog

Megstream final project progress post

User Avatar Aston MEG 06/09/2010 09:57:33
Megstream: Streamlining the processing of MEG data
The Megstream prototype aims to simplify brain research and make it more accessible. MEG scanners measure magnetic activity in the brain over time. Specialist software from the vendor produces images of this activity within the brain for analysis and diagnosis.

The Megstream software makes it easier to produce these images by:

overlaying the previously complex and ‘fuzzy’ process with ordered workflows.
providing remote access to these analysis workflows via a web browser
And it makes it easier to track and reproduce the underlying research by:

recording information about each scan in a database
using a plugin to the WordPress blogging platform to link the information in the database and the process of creating and analysing MEG images

Project screencast
View the project screencast

End User of Prototype
The Megstream system was designed with students, new MEG users and clinicians in mind, but its data tracking system may also be useful for research groups, joint research partnerships and supervisors.

For students and other new users, workflows simplify the previously complex process of producing images of magnetic brain activity by automating some of the repetitive and complicated tasks involved. Workflows make the system less daunting allowing users to focus on their research rather than the tools they’re using.

Remote access to the workflows means that MEG users can process and view their data from anywhere that has a Java-enabled web browser and internet connectivity. This opens MEG techniques out to wider audiences regardless of location. For example, clinicians in hospitals could use MEG even though it may not be available locally.

For students, supervisors, research groups and joint research partners the database and blogging software provide a way to easily track and manage scan data and its outputs over time.

Students can augment or replace their paper-based notebooks with blog posts directly linked to the data they’re using. The posts are related to one another through the use of ‘tags’ and build up into a complete record of the work done. This could provide the basis for an electronic portfolio and even link into institutional repositories.

Using WordPress’s RSS feeds, supervisors can remotely monitor the progress of students, engage in online discussions about their work in situ, and prompt and intervene where necessary.

Research groups and partners can collaborate and discuss work using the blog knowing that it is a central store for all the project information. Workflows ensure that the same protocols and procedures are used by the partners across their sites.

End user documentation

Code repository

Date prototype was launched
July 2010

Project Team Names, Emails and Organisations
Ian Holliday i.e.holliday@aston.ac.uk – Aston University
Caroline Witton c.witton@aston.ac.uk – Aston University
Craig Everitt c.a.everitt@aston.ac.uk – Aston University
Project manager astonmeg@gmail.com – Aston University
Andrew Stanczak a.stanczak@aston.ac.uk – Aston University

Project Website

PIMS entry

Table of Content for Project Posts

Development sprint reviews
Sprint 9 review
Sprint 8 review
Sprint 7 review
Sprint 6 review
Sprint 5 review
Sprint 4 review
Sprint 3 review

Project Board
Megstream Project Board Meeting
Second Megstream Project Board meeting summary
Megstream Project Board mid-project meeting
Final Megstream Project Board

Conference presentations
Streamlining the processing of MEG data accepted for Human Brain Mapping 2010
Human Brain Mapping 2010: Megstream poster
Megstream at Virtual Research Environments Workshop in Rotterdam
Virtual Research Environments Workshop conference report
HBM 2010 conference report

External collaboration
Preparing for clinical feedback
Learning about MEG metadata from MRI
Metadata magic from the Digital Curation Centre
Multi-site MEG study meeting
Making MEG data more available and usable
Demonstrating Megstream to other MEG sites

One workflow to rule them all
Accessing Taverna remotely
Whizzy workflows
Taverna's annoying workflow diagram repositioning
MEG process documentation used in neuroimaging teaching
Megstream workflows now available on myexperiment

Project analysis and evaluation
Project evaluation take 1
Megstream Swot analysis and the move to development
Initial project Swot analysis
Understanding data structures
Analysis complete, now development begins
MEG data process
Megstream software evaluation process
Megstream software evaluation first thoughts
Megstream system evaluation results
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