IDPhone: Point-of-Care Diagnosis of Neonatal Infections and Antibiotic Resistance for Appropriate Management

Cornell University
Organization Location: 
Ithaca, New York

Nearly 20% of neonatal deaths are due to neonatal sepsis and most populations around the world don't have access to trained clinicians or sophisticated laboratory assays to determine cause and inform management.  The seed funding will help us develop the prototype for a three-step diagnostic assay to rapidly detect neonatal sepsis and antibiotic sensitivity profile with just a drop of blood at the point-of-care. The first step will identify the presence of an infection. The second and third steps will determine if the infection is due to a Gram-negative bacteria and characterize antibiotic sensitivity of the bacterium to guide appropriate treatment.   Our vision is to equip primary health care centers with IDPhone and instantly improve their capacity to monitor and address infectious diseases among neonates.   Current management of neonatal sepsis requires a high index of suspicion, even on the part of highly-trained clinicians, as the presenting signs and symptoms are often vague. Subsequently, a series of laboratory investigations are recommended. There are several obvious bottlenecks and problems with this current state-of-the-art management strategy. These range from access to health care services, including trained clinicians, sophisticated laboratories, to lack of knowledge of antibiotic susceptibility. Our solution will overcome all of these hurdles and empower the community health workers to appropriately manage neonatal sepsis. 

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