Oxford University data visualisation spinout Zegami has written to the health ministers of ten countries asking them to provide X-ray images of lungs affected by Covid-19.

The images are needed to build an artificial intelligence (AI) that can help healthcare professionals identify cases of the disease. Zegami only has access to 226 X-rays of Covid-19 infected lungs but says it needs 10,000 to develop its software.

The company is offering its services for free in the fight against the disease and says that its AI could be trained to help identify and differentiate Covid-19 cases from cases of pneumonia, as well as predict potential outcomes for Covid-19 patients.

Zegami CEO Roger Noble said: “The fight against Covid-19 is a global one so we have written to the health ministers of a number of countries asking if they can help us with the development of our new platform. As soon as we have enough X-rays it will be fully up and running and we hope ready to play a key role in supporting medical and technical professionals in their battle with this disease.”