CMRR High Field Workshop 2017

Flywheel is happy to be a silver sponsor of the University of Minnesota's 2017 Workshop on High and Ultra-high Field Imaging and Training Workshop. This biennial event is organized and hosted by the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR).

Under Dr. Kamil Ugurbil’s leadership, this scientific gathering brings together top researchers from top universities and academic institutions from around the world to disseminate and discuss the technical issues and applications of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)  and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy(MRS) conducted with high magnetic fields (≥ 3 T). Presentations from experts in the major areas of high field MR research will cover fundamental principles, methodology, and biomedical applications in the brain as well as the other organ systems in the body. The auditorium is standing-room only and simulcasted into spillover rooms in the facility.

The workshop also includes poster sessions and training courses covering topics such as Imaging Methods for the Connectome Projects, High-Field Parallel Transmission and Engineering, and MR Spectroscopy. Click here for a detailed program.

Alongside other sponsors such as Siemens Healthineers, GE Healthcare, Bruker, and skope, we take honor in providing researchers with the tools necessary to move research into the computational age.  

DockerCon 2017 Highlights

Flywheel leverages Docker heavily for software distribution and algorithm sharing and execution. I had the pleasure of attending Dockercon ‘17, and there were two presentations I’d like to highlight. One is validation that “containers” is an accepted method to achieve shared data processing goals. The other relates to progress on making the Docker image distribution story more consistent in China.

Cool Genes: The Search for a Cure Using Genomics, Big Data and Docker

James Lowey, CIO at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN), presented the system they designed based upon their needs to effectively deal with the genetic data they process to provide more effective treatments for patients

Data Management

One of James’  starting slides reminds me of one we use. A ceiling-high pyramid of storage media that looks like it is about to topple. Everyone agrees there is value in these troves of unmanaged data. In many cases, the cost of using it is too high due to:

  • Low confidence of finding the data of interest, and that the contents match our memory.
  • Loss of institutional knowledge of what data is available, or how to access it.
  • Effort to retrieve a small bit of data across the whole set for broad analysis
  • Changing standards over time for file formats, organization, compression.

Once you have Data Management, you are able to leverage the Docker ecosystem for the benefit of healthcare and research. Specifically, TGEN has developed a number of data processing pipelines, and have constructed a system to execute them


The existing ecosystem of Docker orchestration and cluster solutions and patterns mean TGEN, and other institutions can invest less into software engineering, and more into new ways to analyze the genetic data to improve patient outcomes.

Docker Images provide a platform to ensure execution environments match development/test environments. In the case of TGEN, it is easy to imagine how this creates confidence that the treatment prescribed will not be compromised by such differences. This is one of the core reasons Flywheel has chosen containerization technology from the very start in the pursuit of Reproducible Research.


How do you bootstrap a collaboration network for data scientists to share not just ideas, but data conversion and analysis building blocks? Similar to the automation story, the Docker platform handles many of the packaging/distribution/execution concerns. Now the primary concern becomes establishing a standard way to represent inputs, outputs, execution semantics, and domain-specific variables. Once that is in place, others can contribute new tools that can easily be executed by your data execution engine.

Flywheel has an open specification fitting this mold (Flywheel Gears and manages the Flywheel Exchange where contributors can publish their gears for use across Flywheel environments.

Docker in China

Docker Hub is still coming to China! I had been concerned with the silence on this front since the initial partnership with Alibaba Cloud was announced last October. As a stakeholder in Flywheel’s software distribution strategy, I am excited at the prospect of unifying our process to lower complexity and risk to achieve higher customer satisfaction.

The project for offering Dockerhub in China is nearing completion, with expected availability this summer. The free service will be limited to public Docker Hub repositories and replicated from the existing Dockerhub. The details were missing for 1) how separate this China Docker Hub would be, and 2) whether there would be additional hurdles for use by Docker Image authors/publishers, or consumers.

JFrog reps said they would be offering private Docker Registry service within China that will not require a Mainland China business entity. I’m taking that lowered bar to entry with some skepticism. If JFrog can pull that off, and make it easy to use, it will be something I recommend to colleagues.


Flywheel's ISMRM 2017 Recap

The annual ISMRM meeting is now over and most of us are back home debriefing with colleagues and sharing stories of the largest MR-focused gathering of scientists, educators, and industry.

Topics presented and discussed covered a wide range, such as understanding neural circuits, neural imaging, dynamic real-time imaging, theranostic MRI in precision medicine, and sports medicine. Other important topics included reproducibility in MR research and advancements in multi-modality research.  The call for late-breaking abstracts generated an impressive 100+ submissions on machine learning.

A very well deserved thank you to the ISMRM team and all the volunteers that made this event a success. Coordinating over 5,700 members, attendees, and exhibitors who worked hard on poster sessions, electronic posters, oral sessions, power pitches, plenary and educational sessions, and technical exhibits is nothing short of a logistics miracle.

Flywheel had a successful week discussing content management challenges and solutions. We very much appreciate all the booth visitors and detailed conversations. The MRI research community continues to generate large amounts of complex data and processing algorithms, and the feedback to our platform and approach was extremely positive.  We delivered over 100 product demonstrations and had a wonderful evening with customers and friends during our annual “ISMRM Flywheel Night.”

Our latest release contained data validation and rules-based automation features that greatly resonated with our audience. We also showed an early preview of our EEG viewer based on collaboration with Brain Products; stay tuned for more information. We are back at the office collating and prioritizing feature requests and product enhancement ideas so we can continue to deliver on our promise to help researchers “Do Science, Not IT.”   

See you next at the next tradeshow!

ISMRM 2017

Dear Friends in Research

Flywheel is heading to ISMRM 25th Annual Meeting, and we couldn't be more excited to sponsor the exhibit and engage with the community.

If you're looking towards your next grant, now is a great time to learn how Flywheel can help reduce your IT burden by providing a single place to capture, manage, analyze, and collaborate with others. To provide you with as much information as possible, we have created template language to add directly to your grant application. We can also provide a personalized letter of support. All you need to do is talk to us at booth 219 or fill out our letter of support contact form.

There are new platform features we've developed to allow researchers even more time to focus on research and not IT. Here is a snapshot on some of them.

  • Project Gear Rules:  Flywheel is introducing Project Level Gear Rules. Project administrators can set up automated tasks that will run when meeting certain criteria. For example, you can run a DICOM to NIfTI conversion Gear every time you upload data to the project with a type of DICOM.
  • Run Gear Configure: Flywheel supports Gears that require configuration parameters at runtime. The platform will render the required fields from the Gear manifest, including recommended default, and allow users to modify the parameters. The values are stored with the analysis after executing the Gear to support provenance and reproducibility.
  • ISMRM-RD: The Flywheel platform now supports the ISMRM-RD format for capturing raw data. Sharing of MRI reconstruction algorithms and code requires a common raw data format. Flywheel accomplishes this with a combination of modality-specific Connectors and converter Gears. For more on ISMRM-RD, visit GitHub.
  • Authentication: Flywheel expanded external authentication providers to include LDAP and WeChat. This feature is in addition to the Google login as the Flywheel default authentication provider.  The platform can be configured to authenticate strictly with a single authentication provider or allow for mixed-mode authentication.
  • Project Dashboard: Reading about it won't do it justice. Come and see the new and improved dashboard at booth 219.
Schedule time to discuss the platform in-depth.

When you stop by our booth, don't forget to inquire about our annual Flywheel Night. All you need for admittance is a ticket from our team. This year we will be hosting free drinks and appetizers at the MW Restaurant which is only a nine-minute walk from the convention center.

See you in Honolulu!

2017 Tradeshows


Dates: April 22-27, 2017
Location: Honolulu, HI

About the show
The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine is a multi-disciplinary nonprofit association that promotes innovation, development, and application of magnetic resonance techniques in medicine and biology throughout the world.

ISMRM is a community made up of clinicians, physicists, engineers, biochemists, and technologists-professionals united by a common interest in the ongoing dialogue between the scientific and clinical communities.

Why we’re going
This will be Flywheel’s second visit to ISMRM. Having traveled to Singapore last year, we’re very excited to show off our newest features including parallel computing, and support for ISMRMRD. If you’d like to set some time to talk with our show representatives, please contact us at We will be throwing a happy hour during the show at a local bar so stay tuned for more information or stop by our booth, #219.


Dates: June 25-29
Location: Vancouver, Canada

About the show
OHBM 2017 is the annual meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping. The organization was created in 1995 and has since evolved in response to the explosion in the field of human functional neuroimaging and its movement into the scientific mainstream. OHBM provides an educational forum for the exchange of up-to-the-minute and groundbreaking research across modalities exploring Human Brain Mapping.

Why we’re going
We will be attending OHBM for the second straight year. Having created a platform specifically for Neuroimaging, we feel this conference offers a lot for attendees in the field. Within Flywheel we offer neuro-specific gears, or algorithms, that allow researchers to complete research faster and easier.


Dates: November 11-15
Location: Washington D.C.

About the show
SfN’s 47th annual meeting is the world’s largest neuroscience conference for scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. There will be more than 30,000 colleagues from more than 80 countries at the world’s largest marketplace of ideas and tools for global neuroscience.

Why we’re going
Flywheel will attend for the second year, and we’re looking to go big! Stay tuned for information on being a part of the meeting with Flywheel.

OHBM 2016

Flywheel at OHBM 2016
Flywheel will exhibit at the Organization for Human Brain Mapping in Geneva, Switzerland, June 26th to June 30th 2016. Booth # 31.


ISMRM 2016

Flywheel at ISMRM 2016
Flywheel will exhibit at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine's 24th Annual Meeting in Singapore, May 7th to May 13th 2016. Booth # 225.