Senegalese scientists develop phone app to fight antimicrobial resistance

Dr. Ndiaye and his team worked on a simple app that can be downloaded to any smartphone to help doctors efficiently interpret lab results and prescribe the right medications.

Currently, health workers send samples from an infected patient and send them to a laboratory. Technicians then send back an antibiogram, a profile of the microbe’s susceptibility to a battery of antimicrobial drugs.

Trained doctors and pharmacists can interpret these antibiograms and prescribe the most effective drug.

Preserving our antibiotic arsenal

But in areas where medical training is weak or health services are overburdened, the results can easily be misinterpreted, leading to the use of the wrong drugs. The app aims to eliminate the potential for human error.

“It’s not a machine. You use your phone. Just download the app and take a picture of the results in a darkroom. The app uses artificial intelligence and will tell you which antibiotic is sensitive, which is sensitive to the antibiotic molecule,” Dr. Ndiaye said.

“We need to find a way to preserve our arsenal of antibiotics against future infections,” he added.

The app is designed to work off-grid even if there is no internet or phone reception, which means it could be very effective in rural areas of much of Africa where the signal phone may be patchy or non-existent at best.

About Terry Gongora

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