This month, the National Institutes of Health announced the launch of the Medical Imaging and Data Resource Center (MIDRC), a collaboration with the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) to create Artificial Intelligence-based tools to improve the early detection of COVID-19 and sophisticated therapies for virus patients.

NIBIB Director Bruce J. Tromberg, PhD, calls MIDRC an initiative that “unites leaders in medical imaging and artificial intelligence from academia, professional societies, industry, and government to take on this important challenge.” The collaboration was spun out of the international need for more secure technological networks to create AI-driven medical applications for COVID-19 patients.

The MIDRC will analyze a large set of COVID-19 chest images to develop machine learning algorithms and faster and more accurate diagnostic tools for evaluating the virus; this will support physicians in creating effective treatment plans. This effort is being spearheaded by Maryellen L. Giger, PhD, the A.N. Pritzker Professor of Radiology at the University of Chicago along with co-investigators Etta Pisano, MD, Michael Tilkin, MS, from the American College of Radiology, Curtis Langlotz, MD, PhD, and Adam Flanders, MD, from the Radiological Society of North America, and Paul Kinahan, PhD, from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.