Connectivity for AMR surveillance

What is this project?

AMR Cx – our antimicrobial resistance (AMR) connectivity project – aims to demonstrate how innovative digital tools can be used to improve and increase the data available for AMR surveillance. By enabling a complete information loop, this project allows AMR data from local sources, such as diagnostics in clinics and laboratories, to be linked to national level surveillance systems.

 

Why are we working on it?

In low- and middle-income countries, surveillance capacity is relatively constrained and fragmented, and data available on drug-resistant infections are limited. Building a comprehensive picture of AMR requires data from multiple sources, across different sectors (human health, animal health, agriculture), from different service delivery points (primary care clinics, hospitals, laboratories) and across different pathogens and sample types. Not only does a common data standard not exist for this broad spectrum of sources, but the maturity of health infrastructure and information systems varies widely.

As a result of these local challenges, global data for AMR surveillance are often inadequate. There is an urgent and critical need for a customizable solution that enables countries to interconnect existing and upcoming data systems in a manner that makes sense for AMR surveillance.

 

What does it involve?

Building on our experience with laboratory data systems, we are facilitating the development and evaluation of a number of technology solutions that will leverage existing information systems and enable AMR surveillance data from varied sources to be reported into local, regional and global databases. There are three workstreams:

  • Creation of a customizable “middleware” solution along with supporting guidelines, case studies and reference examples to facilitate implementation
  • Development of mobile device-based clinical decision support (CDS) software that can be connected to in-country data systems
  • Development of a mobile phone application that can capture and transfer rapid diagnostic test (RDT) images, along with final diagnoses, to national programmes, allowing countries to decentralize surveillance and evaluate on-the-ground diagnostic practices.

We are also exploring the connection of animal health data systems via the middleware so that countries implementing a OneHealth approach can have a unified, integrated view of AMR surveillance data across human and animal health sectors.

 

What do we expect to achieve?

We anticipate that this project will result in improved, automated surveillance capability that can inform decision-making and enable proactive responses to AMR-related threats at a local level. National strategies and implementation programmes will be bolstered by comprehensive, country-specific data.

The project also lays the foundations for interconnected data systems that can potentially enable countries to improve disease surveillance beyond AMR (e.g. for outbreak identification and monitoring), and to enhance non-surveillance functions (e.g. clinical care and quality assurance).

 

Partners and funding

This project is supported by the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF), a UK aid programme.