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Editor's e-Note
Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2021 treats us better than 2020. For our first e-News Exclusive of the year, we’re highlighting one way that medical imaging is helping in the fight against COVID-19. Researchers have learned much about the virus since the pandemic began, and medical imaging has been an important part of that effort. Recently, RSNA, in conjunction with The Cancer Imaging Archive, has made datasets of annotated medical images available for additional research, such as training AI algorithms. Read on for more details about the ongoing project, as well as a similar effort recently rolled out in the United Kingdom.

Is your organization using AI to identify COVID-19? Let us know on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Stay safe.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
Imaging Data Aids AI in Battling COVID-19

RSNA and the RSNA COVID-19 AI Task Force have made available the first annotated data set from the RSNA International COVID-19 Open Radiology Database (RICORD), published by The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA).

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health crisis. Although prediction models for COVID-19 imaging have been developed to support medical decision making, the lack of a diverse annotated data set has hindered the capabilities of these models. RSNA launched RICORD in mid-2020 with the goal of building the largest open database of anonymized COVID-19 medical images in the world. It has been made freely available to the global research and education communities to gain new insights, apply new tools such as AI and deep learning, and accelerate clinical recognition of this novel disease. Created through a collaboration between RSNA and the Society of Thoracic Radiology, the initial group consists of 120 COVID-19–positive chest CT images from four international sites.

“RSNA was able to draw on relationships established from prior machine learning challenges to quickly put together a COVID-19 AI Task Force,” says Carol Wu, MD, a radiologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a member of the RSNA task force. “Contributing sites, already proficient at sharing data with RSNA, were able to quickly process necessary legal agreements, identify suitable cases, perform image deidentification, and transfer the images in record speed.”

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In This e-Newsletter
Other Imaging News
NHS Unveils Comprehensive COVID-19 Chest Imaging Database
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service announces the National COVID-19 Chest Imaging Database, or NCCID, an AI imaging resource comprising more than 40,000 recent CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays of UK patients. NHS personnel say the effort is focused on sharpening algorithms to combat the pandemic.

Mars Rover Converts Spectroscopy Imager Into Telescope
As intended, the laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy device on the Curiosity rover has provided close-range analysis of geological matter on Mars. Technicians recently realized that the device could be inverted to render long-distance images as well, thereby repurposing the microscope into a telescope, according to NASA.

Nanoscale Technology Improves Analysis of Filtration Membranes
A new study published in Science reveals that uniformity, not density, is key in the manufacture of filtration membrane technology. Penn State researchers say the discovery could increase the efficacy of desalination technology by up to 40%.

Satellite-Based Alert System Helps Combat Climate Change
According to Oregon State University, the Global Land Analysis and Discovery System, or GLAD, contributed to an 18% reduction in African forest loss. A study in Nature Climate Change estimates the satellite-based technology helped prevent as much as $696 million in mitigation costs and could be a game-changer worldwide.