Doctors collaborating.

NCIMI collaborating with NHS Trusts for innovation and research

January 13, 2022

Two NHS trusts at opposite ends of the UK are reaping the benefits of collaborating and being part of NCIMI.

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust have been collaborating on several research projects by providing medical imaging data and leading exemplar projects.

The team at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust brought significant experience of research to the consortium and supported NCIMI with its bid application to become a national centre of excellence in AI and medical imaging.

“AI is a very significant buzzword. There’s a lot of interest in how it can be applied in imaging. At Leeds we are actively leading one of the exemplar projects – Using AI to improve PET/CT image interpretation in Lymphoma management. We are a dual Centre of Excellence – Leeds is also the base of NPIC, so we work closely with our colleagues in digital pathology to bring inter-operability to our work. It’s enabled us to develop processes for intensive, large volume data extraction, organisation and cleaning. This has made us more agile and sustainable for the future in terms of how we manage our imaging data. It’s also enabled us to link up with commercial partners.”

Andy Scarsbrook, Consultant Radiologist and Professor of Radiology

The Leeds team are working closely with Mirada Medical and Alliance Medical Ltd on a pilot study to explore how AI could be used to support detection of lymphoma through PET-CT scanning. Leeds is one of three sites participating in the study, along with Newcastle and Cornwall.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has created two new jobs through its partnership with NCIMI. It has added a full-time research data manager and a part-time research radiographer role to its department. The team is made up of consultants Giles Maskell and Daniel Kim, data manager Nick Ashley and research radiographer Eve Richards.

It is one of the consortium’s biggest contributors of labelled data – having identified and labelled over 13,000 cases across 4 different diagnoses.

RCHT has worked on two NCIMI exemplar projects. The first, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, aims to produce AI-driven algorithms for the identification of serious and urgent findings on chest x-rays. This will speed up diagnosis and enable doctors in intensive care to quickly intervene, resulting in improved outcomes for patients.

The second is in collaboration with the University of Oxford and aims to develop intelligent alert systems for patients with COVID-19 infection.

They have identified and labelled over 13,000 cases across 4 different diagnoses elevating the GE Chest X-ray project to prominence as the leading example within the NCIMI portfolio.

“Our partnership with NCIMI has been of tremendous benefit in a number of ways. It’s created new jobs, as well as a whole new area of work, in particular in gathering and providing anonymous medical imaging data for use in important research. We’re part of shaping the future, using leading technology, and raised the profile of both our department and our trust on a national platform.”

Giles Maskell, Consultant Radiologist, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust

“Becoming Data Manager for the Clinical Imaging Department in partnership with NCIMI has been a fantastic opportunity to provide vital data for these studies and watch them grow and evolve with our input. We continue to engage with the NCIMI team and I look forward to working with them on new projects in the burgeoning and exciting field of healthcare AI solutions.”

Nick Ashley, Data Manager, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust