Video: MSF uses artificial intelligence to treat patients and combat antibiotic resistance

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

Context
Deaths due to resistant bacteria in 2020

700,000 per year

Deaths due to resistant bacteria in 2050

10 million per year
Project news
January 2020

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.

December 2019

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.

May 2019

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.

Project display

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.

Astapp

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.

 

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The team

//  Nada Malou

Microbiologist

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.

 

Nada Malou

© MSF

//  Marco Pascucci

Development Officer

Marco is doctor of physics and in charge of the development of the application

Marco Pascucci

© MSF

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Keywords
//  Antibiotic
Antibiotics are medicinal products serving to combat infections caused by bacteria. They have no effect on viruses or fungi.
//  Antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance is the capacity of a bacterium to resist the effects of antibiotics.
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.
//  Antibiogram
An antibiogram is a laboratory technique aiming to test the sensitivity of a bacterium to one or more antibiotics, by placing a bacteria culture in the presence of antibiotic pellets and then observing the consequences for the development and survival of the bacteria.
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