The prevalence of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 disease has resulted in the unprecedented collection of health data to support research. Historically, coordinating the collation of such datasets on a national scale has been challenging to execute for several reasons, including issues with data privacy, the lack of data reporting standards, interoperable technologies, and distribution methods. The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 disease pandemic has highlighted the importance of collaboration between government bodies, healthcare institutions, academic researchers and commercial companies in overcoming these issues during times of urgency. The National COVID-19 Chest Imaging Database, led by NHSX, British Society of Thoracic Imaging, Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust and Faculty, is an example of such a national initiative. Here, we summarise the experiences and challenges of setting up the National COVID-19 Chest Imaging Database, and the implications for future ambitions of national data curation in medical imaging to advance the safe adoption of artificial intelligence in healthcare.


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Cushnan, D., Berka, R., Bertolli, O., Williams, P., Schofield, D., Joshi, I., Favaro, A., Halling-Brown, M., Imreh, G., Jefferson, E., Sebire, N., Reilly, G., Rodrigues, J., Robinson, G., Copley, S., Malik, R., Bloomfield, C., Gleeson, F., Crotty, M., Denton, E., Dickson, J., Leeming, G., Hardwick, H., Baillie, J., Openshaw, P., Semple, M., Rubin, C., Howlett, A., Rockall, A., Bhayat, A., Fascia, D., Sudlow, C., Jacob, J. & NCCID Collaborative 2021, 'Towards nationally curated data archives for clinical radiology image analysis at scale: Learnings from national data collection in response to a pandemic', Digital Health, 7. https://doi.org/10.1177/20552076211048654

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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