AB-Assistant: improving antimicrobial prescribing with a smartphone app

We aim to improve the way antibiotics are prescribed in hospitals by testing a smartphone or tablet app that will help doctors choose the right antibiotic.

  • ​Project description (ongoing research project)

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    We are testing an app that will assist doctors in hospitals when they are prescribing antibiotics. The app contains each hospital’s specific recommendations on antibiotic prescribing as well as data on current antibiotic resistance. To assess the impact of the intervention, we will be observing the prescribing habits of a group of doctors who are using the app and comparing it with the habits of another group that is not using it. Since the study is taking place concurrently in various European countries (Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic) plus Canada, its use can be observed in a number of different contexts.

  • Background

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    Suboptimal use of antibiotics is a key factor in the development and spread of resistant bacteria. However, using them appropriately is becoming ever more challenging because new antibiotic resistances are constantly emerging and the epidemiological situation varies from place to place. Fortunately, new technologies are able to deliver data directly to doctors.

  • Aim

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    We are adapting an existing app (spectrum.md) to the local context of various hospitals by integrating the hospitals’ prescribing guidelines and resistance data. We will then review the effect of this measure in the hospitals in question with the aim of identifying the factors that are important in making the app usable and effective in various contexts internationally.

  • Relevance

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    Ultimately our app will improve compliance with recommendations and thus enhance prescribing quality. This is important in containing the development and spread of resistant germs. Since the app is being tested in several countries, we will be able to develop it so that it is suitable for international use, including low-and middle income countries.

  • Original title

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    A digital antimicrobial stewardship smartphone application to combat AMR: the ABassistant