The Insight Toolkit (ITK) is an open-source, cross-platform system that provides developers with an extensive suite of software tools for image analysis. Developed through extreme programming methodologies, ITK employs leading-edge algorithms for registering and segmenting multidimensional data.

ITK provides an ImageIO plug-in structure that works via discovery through a dependency injection scheme. This allows a program built on ITK to load plug-ins for reading and writing different image types without actually linking to the ImageIO libraries required for those types. Such encapsulation automatically grants two major boons: firstly, programs can be easily extended just by virtue of using ITK (developers do not have to specifically accommodate or anticipate what plug-ins may be used). Secondly, the architecture provides a distribution method for open source software, like Bio-Formats, which have licenses that might otherwise exclude them from being used with other software suites.

The SCIFIO ImageIO plugin provides an ITK imageIO base that uses Bio-Formats to read and write supported life sciences file formats. This plugin allows any program built on ITK to read any of the image types supported by Bio-Formats.