The National Consortium for Intelligent Medical Imaging (NCIMI) is funded by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to drive innovation in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for improved diagnosis and delivery of precision treatments for cancer, heart disease, genetic disorders and other conditions. 

The main objective of NCIMI is build a pipeline for innovation to allow new clinical imaging AI tools to be developed, tested, validated and adopted into the NHS. Clinical imaging already plays a significant role in the delivery of personalised care, and earlier diagnosis to support improved disease outcomes. NCIMI will enable the rapid integration of novel AI tools into standard practice making sure that full patient benefit is extracted from medical imaging techniques such as MRI, CT, PET-CT, X-Ray and more, by aiding in the early detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of diseases. Some of the key cancer projects NCIMI supports are:

  • Characterisation of pulmonary nodules in patients with extra-thoracic malignancies; distinguishing benign from malignant nodules, and primary lung cancers from metastases;
  • Patient involvement in early preventive medical advice at scale for genetic diseases;
  • Improved PET-CT reconstruction techniques, that will enable improved tumour detection and quantification of tumour metabolism;
  • Improved tumour quantification and disease response in patients with lymphoma using PET-CT;
  • Identification and characterisation of metastatic disease on spine MRI.

Although led from Oxford University’s Big Data Institute, the consortium is a national cloud-connected network bringing together necessary expertise across NHS (including 15 NHS Hospital Trusts from across the UK*), academia, industry such as GE Healthcare, Alliance Medical, The Behavioural Architects and 7 Oxford University spin-outs+, as well as patient groups.
The Consortium is led by Prof Fergus Gleeson (Department of Oncology), Prof Sir Mike Brady (Department of Oncology), Prof Jim Davies (Computer Science and BDI) and Prof Mike Parker (Nuffield Department of Population Health and BDI).
Further collaborators within Oxford are in the Radcliffe Department of Medicine (Prof Stefan Neubauer, Prof Charalambos Antoniades), Big Data Institute / Nuffield Department of Medicine (Prof Gil McVean), Nuffield Department of Population Health / Big Data Institute (Martin Landray), The Institute of Biomedical Engineering (Alison Noble).
NCIMI is keen to expand and bring in new partnerships as it develops.

To stay up-to-date with NCIMI news, follow the consortium on Twitter.