The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has established the Medical Imaging and Data Resource Center (MIDRC), an initiative seeking to leverage the power of AI and medical imaging for early detection of COVID-19.
The plan is to create an open-source database in which COVID-19 related medical images can be collected, annotated, stored and shared to answer questions researchers have worldwide about the disease. The NIHs National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) will fund the project, while the American College of Radiology, the Radiological Society of North America and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine will co-lead its development, which includes the creation and implementation of machine-learning algorithms.
This major initiative responds to the international imaging communitys expressed unmet need for a secure technological network to enable the development and ethical application of artificial intelligence to make the best medical decisions for COVID-19 patients, said Dr. Krishna Kandarpa, director of research sciences and strategic directions at NIBIB, in a statement. Eventually, the approaches developed could benefit other conditions as well.
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ACR, RSNA and AAPM will collect and annotate thousands of images, and will recruit engineers, physicians and scientists to collect and organize the data. They plan to soon upload more than 10,000 COVID-19 thoracic radiographs and CT images, including from the ACR COVID-19 Imaging Research Registry and the RSNA International COVID-19 Open Radiology Database (RICORD). The information conveyed by the images will be used to train the algorithms so they can answer clinical and logistical questions to help researchers worldwide diagnose and personalize treatments for COVID-19 patients.
The development and implementation of the algorithms is expected to help physicians quickly and accurately assess the signs of COVID-19 and correlate them with other clinical symptoms and tests. The MIDRC will consist of five infrastructure development projects and oversee twelve research projects, including approximately 20 university labs, as part of efforts to find solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic. Its services will later be expanded to provide imaging data and AI technologies to help assess and diagnose other diseases.
Access to this unprecedented resource will soon fuel expedited AI research to provide better diagnosis, new treatments and more-effective monitoring to guard against COVID-19 resurgence, said Maryellen Giger, PhD, of the University of Chicago, principal investigator of the NIBIB MIDRC contract and chair of the AAPM Data Science Committee, in a statement. This is a significant step in the effort against COVID-19.
The MIDRC is funded under the National Institutes of Healths special emergency COVID-19 process.
Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith