Treating antibiotic resistance: Need for diagnostics and AI

  04 May 2021

In 2016, Médecins Sans Frontières opened a microbiology laboratory in its hospital in Aden, Yemen, to test for antibiotic resistance. Intense fighting between armed groups has resulted in the arrival of hundreds of wounded patients in need of treatment, and a huge number of them suffered from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But there was a lack of microbiologists who could interpret the test results.

So every morning, miles away at the MSF Foundation headquarters in France, Dr. Nada Malou, MSF’s microbiology and surveillance advisor, checks the test results — averaging 300 per month — and interpret them, including tests from MSF’s microbiology lab in Mali.

From that experience, the idea for a mobile application that could help laboratory technicians perform the test interpretations was born. The app, called Antibiogo, was developed by the MSF Foundation in collaboration with scientists from the University of Évry and the Bacteriology Department at the Henri Mondor Hospital, and received a grant from Google.

Further reading: DEVEX
Author(s): Jenny Lei Ravelo
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