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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.

Original publication




Journal article


Digit Health

Publication Date





Imaging, artificial intelligence, coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 disease, general, machine learning, medicine, radiology, respiratory