Medical chest images key to new AI initiative in fight against COVID-19

The first centralised UK repository of chest X-ray, CT and MRI images is being established to help improve understanding of COVID-19 and support treatment of the disease.  

Radiologists are being called upon to contribute to the National COVID-19 Chest Imaging Database (NCCID) in support of developing software that could help: 

  • analyse chest medical images to understand the risk and impact of COVID-19 on patients including disease progression, complications and outcomes
  • define groups of patients according to the nature and severity of their symptoms, identifying the appropriate care for each group and prioritising treatment
  • identify other issues that may complicate a patient’s care needs when they present with COVID-19

The NCCID is a joint initiative established by NHSX, the British Society of Thoracic Imaging (BSTI), Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust and London-based AI technology specialist Faculty. 

Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust will manage the data collection process due to its extensive field expertise, with all chest images de-identified before entering the database.  Their expertise includes collection of 3.1 million mammography images using ethically approved techniques, which are being replicated for the NCCID.