Loren Data's FBO Daily™

Home Today's FBO Search Archives Numbered Notes CBD Archives Subscribe

T -- Data Acquisition for C3PI Computational Photography Project for Pill Identification

Notice Date
Notice Type
541922 — Commercial Photography
Contracting Office
Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 105, Bethesda, Maryland, 20894, United States
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Archive Date
Point of Contact
Suet Vu, Phone: 301-496-6546
E-Mail Address
Small Business Set-Aside
This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with FAR Parts 12 and 13.5. This acquisition is not a small business set-aside. The North American Industry Classification System Code is 541922 and the business size standard is $6.5 Million. In a national effort to promote patient safety, NLM has undertaken the creation of an authoritative, comprehensive, public digital image inventory of the nation's commercial prescription solid dose medications. Our effort is a continuation and extension of three previous projects: providing the Veterans Administration with a complete digital photographic catalog of the VA Centralized Mail Order Pharmacy formulary for prescription tablets and capsules, the establishment of the NLM Pillbox information resource, and the NLM Computational Photography Project for Pill Identification (C3PI). We are creating a collection of digital photographs of prescription tablets and capsules or Oral Solid Dosage Formulations (OSDFs). The purpose of this announcement is to provide for the continuation of image acquisition of OSDFs through an open commercial competition for R&D support services. The resulting award for an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract will be made to a contractor or vendor who will be responsible for acquiring the sample medications (if necessary), handling, transporting, and storing medication samples, creating high resolution digital photographs of the front (obverse) and back (reverse) surfaces of the samples using conventional techniques for color management and size measurement, confirming that the images match the description of the medication, developing and matching the images of the samples to relevant metadata (including size descriptions, dimensions, color, and the provenance of the sample), composing digital images by suppressing the background and combining the front and back images into a single output image, and transmitting those data (images and metadata) to the NLM. As part of the current effort, NLM has crafted a recommended specification, SPLIMAGE, for images of oral solid dose formulations of medications to be included in the FDA's Structured Product Label initiative (see attachment of the SPLIMAGE specification). Responses to this announcement should include the necessary digital processing to generate SPLIMAGE files from the digital photographs of OSDFs. We believe that ultimately nationwide there are between 5,000 and 32,000 prescription oral solid-dose medications to be cataloged through this process. The resulting digital image collection from this effort will be placed by NLM in the public domain. The impact of this collection will target patient safety including assisting in drug identification for poison control hotlines as well as online services for the public and nursing care professionals to confirm the identification of a drug to help prevent mistakes in medication. Other uses of the image collection include education and applications in pharmacy pedagogy such as its inclusion in textbooks and digital teaching materials. These applications demand high resolution, high quality images with good color reproduction to faithfully represent the medications through imagery. Smaller images and subsets of the collection can be generated from the original high-resolution data for other applications that do not require the same level of fidelity; however, we are committed to acquiring the best data possible through this mechanism. NLM intends to identify a contractor or assemble a contractor-and-subcontractor team to address these issues, with the emphasis on experienced digital macro-photography talent as well as credentials and experience necessary to safely handle oral solid-dose prescription medications. The matching of the images to the correct identification of the medications is at least as critical as the dispensing of the medications to patients for treatment in that the impact of a mis-identification could have grave consequences. The need for quality control and verification in this project is likely to be significantly higher since the distribution of the resulting data could have widespread public impact, both a positive one if the collection is comprehensive and detailed, and significant negative impacts if there are errors in the database. The contractor should have clear explicit procedures for verifying the data and its correct correspondence to the medications from which it was derived. NLM expects the final team to incorporate photographers, assistants familiar with the handling of pharmaceuticals, a pharmacist for the appropriate qualifications in receiving, handling, and disposing of prescription medications, administrative technicians for the verification and electronic delivery of the digital images and their associated data, and information technology support for image processing and digital composition of the resulting reference images, the extraction of metadata, and technical support of the digital camera, its software, data storage and backup, as well as internet support to enable the electronic delivery of the digital data. Optional work: A possible byproduct of this award, generated through an option to the primary contract, would be a test data collection for the advancement of automatic pharmaceutical identification through computer vision from photographic data. NLM expects to promote computer vision research applied to the domain of content-based information retrieval (CBIR) of solid-dose pharmaceuticals. The current C3PI effort has created an initial set of such images from the ongoing imaging of OSDFs and anticipates the continuing need for generating test data, including variations of photographs of the same drug or sample under different conditions and with different cameras or equipment. We invite ideas and plans for the structure for such a test collection subset of the overall imaging effort including a discussion of issues such as: (1) the number of validated sample images needed to evaluate automated drug identification algorithms, (2) the different photographic conditions and equipment necessary to effectively support a test image collection, and (3) a plan for deploying and maintaining such a collection in support of a grand challenge or other mechanism for promoting computer vision for solid-dose pharmaceutical identification. We anticipate that this award will encompass the handling, storage, photography, and the electronic delivery of the resulting digital data of between 500 and 1,000 prescription medications over the course of one year. Therefore, proposals addressing this requirement should not surpass 1 year in duration. Up to four (4) option years for additional services with a duration of 1 year each per option (the additional acquisition of images of pharmaceutical samples in lots of between 500 and 1,000 samples) should be provided by teams responding to this requirement. Teams should also address in their proposals a additional separate option for crafting a test data collection to promote computer vision for identification of oral solid-dose formulations of pharmaceuticals, including up to four (4) option years for this supplementary effort. Technical proposals should cover: (i) Technical details for: 1. Sample Acquisition • NLM will prioritize the list of images of samples to be acquired, beginning with the most widely prescribed drugs as well as the those medications that pose a public threat either through abuse or as a poisoning hazard. NLM proposes the use of DailyMed as the source of the initial list of prescription medications (4,676 medications listed as of 10-June-2009) • If samples are offered by participating manufacturers or vendors, the contractor will accept these samples as available. • The contractor will be responsible for establishing a source of medications and ensuring that their supply chain remains viable through the life of this project. • The contractor will establish and maintain procedures that comply with all state and federal regulations for the management, handling, and disposal of prescription medications. 2. Photographic quality • The contractor will adhere to image quality guidelines established by the NLM pertaining to issues of: color management (ensuring that the images provided reflect the actual color of the medication), image resolution (Minimum of 6 MPixels for the field including the pharmaceutical sample), file formats, color background (18% grey color background), and fiducial marks for size, color, and white balance. NLM will provide a standard color reference for matching colors in the raw digital images. 3. Quality control and Data transfer • The contractor will develop quality control procedures with the NLM for the verification of acceptable images, matching the images with the correct metadata, and data transmission. • Images and metadata will be transferred to NLM, subject to verification. 4. Transition plan - project completion • After the data collection is firmly established and the period of performance nears its end, the contractor may be required to transfer the program another contractor. The plan should address a process for disclosing all documentation, file formats, database organization, and open-source software. This transition is essential for the long-term sustainability of the project. (ii) Qualifications of key personnel to execute this project. 1. Background expertise - the extent to which the key personnel and the project team as a whole have access to the range of educational backgrounds in macrophotography, in particular in photography for documenting scientific or records of physical samples. 2. Experience - the extent to which the key personnel and the project team include significant experience and expertise in the production workflows for documentation photography. (iii) The commitment and experience of the institution or offeror in building and releasing public data resources for patient safety in pharmaceutical information. (iv) Proposed relevant facilities The Technical Proposal should include examples digital images of pharmaceutical samples, demonstrating the capabilities of the respondent. These images are not included in the 15-page limit. Beyond these digital images 15 pages of technical proposal, resumes of key investigators, reprints of relevant technical papers, and other supplemental materials can be provided outside of the page limit. Reviewers are instructed that the 15-page technical proposal and the representative digital images are required reading, and supplemental materials are available as part of the support documentation but not required. NLM is specifically seeking contractors with the discipline necessary to conduct this project, adhering to high standards of quality and consistency necessary to acquire high quality reference images through digital macrophotography and to verify and validate that images of these solid-dose pharmaceuticals are accurately tied to their respective medications. Regular progress evaluations may be initiated, and frequent interaction with NLM staff responsible for the imaging informatics and release of the data to the public domain is expected. The deliverables for this proposed project are the photographs of the solid-dose pharmaceutical samples, the metadata and information for correctly identifying and correlating the images with their corresponding medications. The resulting images and the final data will be owned by the National Institutes of Health and distributed to the public. NLM reserves the right to include a site visit as part of the proposal evaluation. NLM reserves the right to include key personnel named in a proposal as well as any or all parts of the technical proposal in the contract award. NLM anticipates that the first award of the photographic collection (up to 1,000 samples) will be completed within one year and costs not expected to exceed $500,000 including the cost of acquiring and disposing of the sample medications. All proposals will be evaluated on technical merit, qualifications of the personnel (including photographers, computer scientists, image processors, pharmacists, and technicians), cost, and past performance on research and development projects. Electronic copies of the technical proposal are due by the application deadline. In addition to the official electronic submission, five (5) printed copies of the technical proposal are required. These printed hard copies should be printed, 3-hole punched, and submitted in binders. NLM anticipates an official deadline for electronic submission by noon (12:00 PM), Tuesday June 18, 2013, with an official deadline for printed hard copy submission by close of business, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. Electronic copies of submissions should be sent via e-mail to the contracting specialist, Suet Vu, at vus@mail. nih.gov. The submission may be split into multiple e-mails to accommodate e-mail servers. At the completion of the submission of responses to the RFP, even if only a single e-mail is transmitted, an additional confirmation text-only e-mail should be transmitted, communicating that a complete submission has been sent and detailing the contents of each file and how many separate e-mail files should be expected. Paper copies may be submitted in writing to the National Library of Medicine, Office of Acquisitions Management, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 105, Bethesda, Maryland 20894; Attention Suet Vu, Contracting Specialist.
Web Link
FBO.gov Permalink
Place of Performance
Address: Bethesda, Maryland, 20894, United States
Zip Code: 20894
SN03081264-W 20130607/130606002433-9b62db73d075c0467f3be8a1785c35de (fbodaily.com)
FedBizOpps Link to This Notice
(may not be valid after Archive Date)

FSG Index  |  This Issue's Index  |  Today's FBO Daily Index Page |
ECGrid: EDI VAN Interconnect ECGridOS: EDI Web Services Interconnect API Government Data Publications CBDDisk Subscribers
 Privacy Policy  © 1994-2016, Loren Data Corp.