Patients with Covid-19 are set to benefit from faster treatment, improved outcomes and shorter hospital stays thanks to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Many of these tools are being trained and validated using the National Covid-19 Chest Imaging Database (NCCID) developed with the help of Royal Surrey staff from the Scientific Computing section.
NHSX, a unit tasked with driving the digital transformation of care in the NHS, together with the British Society of Thoracic Imaging (BSTI) and Royal Surrey, has brought together over 40,000 CT scans, MRIs and X-rays from more than 20,000 patients across the UK during the course of the pandemic.
The images are collected, de-identified and centralised in a NHS England data warehouse, using technology adapted from the breast cancer screening Image database, OPTIMAM, which Royal Surrey’s Professor Kenneth Young first established working with Cancer Research UK more than 10 years ago.
Access to this National Covid-19 Chest Imaging Database (NCCID) has now been extended to hospitals and universities across the country who are using the images to track patterns and markers of illness. The database can speed up diagnosis of Covid-19, leading to a quick treatment plan and greater understanding of whether the patient may end up in a critical condition.
Professor Mark Halling-Brown, Head of Scientific Computing at Royal Surrey who worked with NHSX to collect and de-identify Covid-19 patient data, said:
“Royal Surrey has led the way in creating and sharing research imaging databases that have enabled the development of AI tools, and has more recently specialised in the evaluation and validation of AI radiology products within a range of specialties supporting their safe deployment into the clinic.
“Our expertise allowed us to help build the National Covid-19 Chest Imaging Database and we are excited by the potential of the AI solutions being developed and the research underway that will use this dataset.”