Royal Philips has supported the NHS’ Cheshire and Merseyside consortium to become the first hub in the region supplying the centralised National COVID-19 Chest Imaging Database (NCCID) in the UK and integrating data across 13 NHS trusts in the consortium.

NCCID has X-Ray, CT and MRI images from hospital patients across the UK and aims to support a better understanding of the Covid-19 virus and develop AI-powered technology to provide better care for hospitalised patients.

With a single centralised and secure server, the database has provided access to 15 years of imaging data across 2.5 million people in the region.

By engaging with the Cheshire and Merseyside consortium, Philips enabled access to the entire region’s imaging data through a single hub.

Philips Global worklist, the advanced data integration solution of Philips for radiology, was used to enable easy integration with the NCIDD’s secure central SMART Box server.

This server can facilitate multiple trials/research projects simultaneously.

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Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust Scientific Computing head Mark-Halling Brown said: “One of the findings coming out of the end of this project will definitely be to focus on regional hubs that will be able to coordinate and better centralise the data, a hub just like Cheshire and Merseyside.

“It can take many months or even years to set up SMART boxes at individual trusts, so doing it regionally is the only way to scale up nationally.”

The NCCID database is developed in collaboration with NHSX, The British Society of Thoracic Imaging (BSTI) and The Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust.

It is being used to validate AI products for use in the NHS and aids the diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19 in the UK population.

Through the SMART box server technology, Cheshire and Merseyside will be able to participate in research into many areas that need large volumes of clinical imaging data.