ASTapp is a mobile application which aims to combat the spread of antimicrobial resistance and guarantee equal access to correct diagnosis all over the world
Clara Nordon, Director of the Foundation, and Nada Malou, clinical officer of the ASTapp project, went to San Francisco for the Google Impact Summit. This event brought together over four days the teams of the 20 Google Impact Challenge winning projects, projects selected out of 2602 entries for their use of AI for social, public health or education purposes. They were able to present the progress made by the ASTapp application at this Summit.
In Amman (Jordan), the ASTapp team launched the first phase of evaluation of the application. Following this, the second evaluation phase will begin in February 2020, again in Amman. Lastly, the third and final phase will take place between June and November 2020 and will be divided between three countries: Jordan, Mali and the Central African Republic.
The MSF Foundation received a Google scholarship as part of the “AI Global Impact Challenge”, which rewards projects based on artificial intelligence liable to have a positive impact on social problems. This prize of 1.3 million dollars will enable the MSF Foundation to accelerate the development of ASTapp, a free smartphone application designed to help to diagnose antibiotic resistance in low-resource settings.
This project aims to combat the spread of antimicrobial resistance and guarantee equal access to correct diagnosis all over the world.
As the World Health Organisation has declared, antimicrobial resistance is a major public health concern.
Access to correct diagnosis of bacterial diseases is not generally available in low-resource settings. This leads to inappropriate treatment of the patient and to the selection of resistant strains due to non-rational use of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Antibiograms are an easy test to implement to detect the bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
The raw result of an antibiogram must be interpreted by a microbiologist, and microbiologists are rare in low-resource settings.
ASTapp is a free offline smartphone application to help non-expert to interpret antibiograms.
ASTapp automatically analyses antibiogram images and provides advice for appropriate treatment of the patient.
// Nada Malou
Microbiologist referee at MSF, Nada holds a doctorate in microbiology and is a specialist in infectious and tropical diseases.
She has been working since 2012 at MSF where she has set up the five MSF France bacteriology laboratories. She makes sure that the ASTapp project meets the technical needs encountered on MSF sites.
// Marco Pascucci
Marco is doctor of physics and in charge of the development of the application
// Laetitia Blanche
As Product Manager, Laetitia Blanche coordinates the various steps in the development of the application, from hierarchical structuring of the different functions to management of the technical implementation. She is also responsible for evaluating the conditions for open-source distribution of the application.
Bacteria can be resistant to one or more antibiotics; we then speak of multiresistant bacteria (MRB).
Massive and inappropriate use of antibiotics worldwide is leading to a considerable increase in antibiotic resistance phenomena.