Antibiogo is a diagnostic aid medical device that aims to help doctors prescribe the most effective antibiotics to their patients. It is available as a free, open source and offline Android application. It allows non-expert laboratory technicians to measure and interpret antibiograms. It provides accurate results that can also be used for monitoring purposes and updating empirical treatments based on actual etiology.
Status of the project
- Problem analysis
The identified Gap
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is finally acknowledged as a major public health threat, currently causing 1.27 million deaths in 2019 and 10 million deaths by 2050 if nothing is done. Low and Middle Income Countries are known to be hit the hardest. The limited access to adequate clinical bacteriology laboratories contributes to increasing antibiotic resistance and complicates the management of infections such as sepsis. In the 70 countries where MSF operates, patients are coming to hospitals with bacterial infections, not responding to antibiotic treatments.
To tackle this problem, MSF developed a multidisciplinary AMR strategy built around 3 pillars:
- The improvement of infection prevention and control to reduce MDR transmissions and limit nosocomial infections.
- The promotion of rational use of antibiotics.
- An increased access to bacteriology diagnostic laboratories, especially for pediatric and trauma infections (burns, osteomyelitis).
Antibiogo is part of the third pillar of action.
Problem analysis and the MSF Foundation’s response
Through MSF experience in laboratory implementation and assessment, it appears that training the lab technicians to perform the Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing can be facilitated with simplified tools and training support as developed by the Minilab project. But training for interpretation of Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing is much more complex and requires several years if an adequate and expensive expert system is not used. Because of a lack of trained HR, especially clinical microbiologists, for several years, pictures of antibiograms were sent to OCP’s medical department for daily interpretation and validation of results. To overcome these delays, the idea of using an application that could interpret petri dish pictures was raised, and in 2017, the Antibiogo project was born. The Antibiogo team offers a tool based on image processing, artificial intelligence technology and integrated an existing expert system improving diagnosis and treatment which will have a significant impact in the decline of AMR in the long run.
The application is currently under clinical evaluation in 3 different countries. If clinical evaluations are successful, then Antibiogo will become the first CE marked In Vitro Diagnostic device manufactured by The MSF Foundation. Our objective is to provide a safe and accurate diagnostic tool that can be available for free and offline for Low and Middle Income Countries.
Antibiogo fights against the spread of antimicrobial resistance and aims to guarantee equal access to a quality diagnosis, even in countries with limited resources where access cannot be assured today.
Antibiogo is a free smartphone application, available offline and open source (except for the expert system). It allows lab technicians to measure inhibition zone diameters found on antibiograms and interpret the results, without necessarily having expertise in microbiology, something which was previously required. The idea is not to replace microbiologists but to provide the necessary analytical support in countries where there is no access to these highly qualified resources.
In doing so, Antibiogo will improve the quality of the tests carried out in existing laboratories and will complement the establishment of quality bacteriology laboratories, even in the absence of an expert microbiologist in MSF intervention and more broadly in precarious contexts.
The MSF Foundation has been working on the project since 2017, in collaboration with external partners (technical, academic, financial) that it has been able to mobilize to reach today the certification, a major step for the deployment in LMIC.
The IVDD-CE marking is a guarantee that the Antibiogo application has been developed and tested according to well-established standards in order to ensure the safety of the users but especially of the patients.
It allows the use of Antibiogo in ICLs as a routine diagnostic aid and not in research mode while ensuring the protection of patients.
Antibiogo is the first CE-marked, in vitro medical device designed by MSF Foundation. This tool, which is a free downloadable app, provides a concrete response to slowing AMR in all countries by facilitating access to quality bacteriological diagnosis. The results can also be used for monitoring purposes and to update empirical treatment based on actual etiology.
The Antibiogo app is being implemented in several MSF laboratories, including Jordan and Kinshasa DRC and by December in Mali, the Central African Republic and Yemen and is intended to be deployed more extensively. With time, the app will be a tool for healthcare professionals in all LMICs.
Start of the Post Market Surveillance phase (legal obligation to collect user feedback and performance data under real conditions)
Launch of the final clinical evaluation in Mali
How does it work?
MSF uses AI to help treat patients and fight antibiotic resistance
What were the main stages of the project ?
Antibiogo in pictures
Supporting the project
You wish to specifically support the development of this project? Contact Catherine Béchereau - Loyalty and Philanthropy Manager 01 40 21 56 88 - [email protected]