Navigating the antibiotic resistance crisis

Natasha Cowan|25th October 2018

Antimicrobial resistance claims 5,000 lives per year in the UK and 700,000 globally – one life per minute. By 2050, it is estimated more than 10 million people will die every year of antibiotic-resistant infections, a mortality rate higher than cancer. Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, we have used antibiotics to treat infections.

This has revolutionised medicine, preventing people from dying from infected wounds, reducing risks around surgery and curing simple ailments. However, our reliance on these drugs has led to over-use. Now bacteria have evolved to resist the power of an antibiotic attack.

We are in an arms race against the superbugs and for us to win we will need to change our approach to diagnosing and treating infections. Although scientists have continued to develop new classes of antibiotics to escape the threat of antibiotic resistance – including tetracyclines in 1945 and carbapenems in 1985, along with the new classes in development today – the bacteria have systematically produced resistance against each new class. This is driven by over-prescribing, which is in turn fuelled by a lack of rapid diagnostics that can efficiently tell doctors if a disease is bacterial or not. It is clear that simply developing novel therapies, is not a sustainable approach to overcoming antibiotic resistance.

The market is complex and to overcome the challenges of resistance we need to shape the ecosystem. In the past, therapies have been prescribed broadly and empirically, however, to tackle resistance a targeted approach is needed to allow precise treatment decisions to be made by physicians and prevent the over-use of innovative new antibiotic classes.

This new way of treating patients involves a complex array of stakeholders and will require significant behaviour change, new technology and new processes. Blue Latitude Health speaks to Tara DeBoer, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher at UC Berkeley and CEO of BioAmp Diagnostics, to better undestand the physicians’ journey, their pain points and barriers, and how a new tool is helping to fuel more precise prescribing practices.

Designing a global digital patient services platform

Elisa del Galdo|22nd January 2020

Within our customer experience capability at Blue Latitude Health, our UX researchers and designers are tasked with understanding customer and client needs. Recently, a client required a centralised system to drive the development and deployment of data-driven patient services. Here, we explain the process of developing this platform.

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Digital therapeutics and their impact on society

Elisa del Galdo|14th January 2020

Head of Customer Experience Elisa del Galdo explores how healthcare technology can help chronic disease patients and asks what makes a good digital therapeutic?

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Life with multiple myeloma - why I'm a lucky man living the dream

Guest Blogger|18th December 2019

Multiple myeloma patient Bob Munro explains what it's like to live with the rare blood cancer and how his diagnosis led him on the journey of a lifetime – cycling from London to the Arc de Triomphe.

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