Health imaging data released to support disease diagnosis and prevention

The first set of data from a global health study covering 6,000 subjects analysed for body composition has released its data to help researchers potentially diagnose and prevent a wide range of diseases.

The study was conducted between international health resource, UK Biobank and digital health company AMRA.

The data is available through UK Biobank’s website and includes 6,000 MRI scans to support clinical trials and produce new biomarkers for diseases.

In 2016, UK Biobank launched the world’s largest health imaging study on the brain, heart, bones, carotid arteries and body composition of 100,000 participants. AMRA was selected to perform the fat and muscle measurements for all of the participants.

Now the release of the first 6,000 MRI scans has shown a clear link between body composition and coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sarcopenia and an increased healthcare burden associated with visceral obesity.

Tommy Johansson, chief executive officer of AMRA, said: “I’m very proud that AMRA was chosen to work with UK Biobank on a project of such scale and value to the scientific community. As the largest imaging study of its kind and one of the most comprehensive, I’m looking forward to watching and learning how this initial data set – and the many scheduled to follow – will be used to help support clinical trials, improve treatments, and ultimately prevent disease. 6,000 MRI scans analysed and available for researchers, with only 94,000 to go!”

Professor Cathie Sudlow, chief scientist of UK Biobank, added: “We’re very excited that the first 15,000 imaging datasets are now available across all imaging modalities, 6,000 of which include AMRA’s body composition analysis – this is a great opportunity for researchers and one that I’m sure will swiftly be taken advantage of. We’re also pleased to announce that UK Biobank has just scanned our 20,000th volunteer and we’re on track to scan the final, 100,000th participant by 2024. Once the entire database is available, it will be one of the world’s most powerful resources for medical research.”


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Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via: reece.armstrong@rapidnews.com


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