A UK-wide British Society of Thoracic Imaging COVID-19 imaging repository and database: design, rationale and implications for education and research
Hare, S.S., et al.
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The number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise in the UK and around the world. The precise role for computed tomography (CT) in the diagnosis and triage of suspected cases, assessing for complications, and surveillance is sub- ject to change and are explored in other articles in this edition; however, keeping the UK diagnostic community fully informed of emerging guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak is critical. This can be achieved as a collaborative effort by feeding a central library of the medical examples encountered and rapidly sharing expert opinions to front- line medical care staff, nationally and internationally. The British Society of Thoracic Imaging (BSTI), in conjunction with Cimar UK’s Imaging Cloud Technology (cimar.co.uk), have designed, built, and deployed a simple, free to use, anonymised, and encrypted online portal to upload and refer imaging of patients with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19. From these cases, the BSTI are providing an imaging database of known UK patient ex- amples for reference and teaching. The aim is to disseminate breaking clinical and diagnostic advice rapidly to frontline healthcare staff nationally, using real imaging examples encountered across the country. All imaging and supporting data are stored at UK Cloud (https://ukcloudhealth.com) with no identifiable metadata. Imaging can be uploaded at http://bit.ly/BSTICovid19_ Database. The published teaching library and its content will be accessible without a login via the BSTI website (https://bit.ly/BSTICovid19_Teaching_Library).