NIH releases 100K chest X-ray images for deep learning


Seen on my Twitter feed:

The NIH Clinical Center recently released over 100,000 anonymized chest x-ray images and their corresponding data to the scientific community. The release will allow researchers across the country and around the world to freely access the datasets and increase their ability to teach computers how to detect and diagnose disease. Ultimately, this artificial intelligence mechanism can lead to clinicians making better diagnostic decisions for patients.

Completely off topic - my first job after a particle physics degree was with the UK’s first digital X-ray PACS system at the Hammersmith Hospital. I did what would now be called database cleaning on the newly introduced system. I was very proud to one day spot an X-ray which I though was the wrong way round. But checking the R and L markers, no - this was a patient with the heart on the right. Some people are ‘cardiodextrous’ and have the heart naturally on the other side.

Another anecdote - this system was originally built by Loral for the US Veterans Administration. Fancy digital X-ray sets were installed on US supercarriers. And rather than X-ray sailors the Navy was more concerned with finding fatigue cracks in the landing gear on Tomcats.