Today, antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) is a standard process used by clinical microbiology labs to analyse samples from hospitalized patients with infections. Currently, more than 700,000 people die of drug-resistant infections every year. The figure may reach 10 million by 2050. The emergence of new resistant bacteria and strains also means that there is an increasing need for antimicrobial susceptibility/resistance testing in outpatient wards in order to enable optimal treatment of patients suffering from common infections. So far these infections have been treated empirically.
Authorities and opinion leaders around the world have been calling for new technology solutions to tackle the problem of increasing antimicrobial resistance.
Reckless and incorrect use of antibiotics continues to increase the risk of spreading AMR. According to the World Health Organisation, AMR is the largest global health threat in the 21st century and it needs urgent measures. The focus of efforts to tackle the problem will be the decentralized rapid infection diagnostics combining both identification and resistance testing of pathogens.