Keith O’Neill, PhD; Elaine Spain, PhD; Kellie Adamson, PhD; Hazel McArdle, PhD
Competition Sponsor: EIT Health of the European Union
Sepsis is a global healthcare challenge with more than 49M diagnosed cases every year, leading to more than 11M deaths and total costs to healthcare systems of over $60 billion. Tragically, while 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented with rapid diagnosis and treatment, conventional diagnostic tests take several hours to several days to deliver results. This means physicians are forced to administer a non-specific treatment option for patients until the results of the tests come back. Unfortunately, for many patients (>30%), this treatment will be ineffective.
SepTec is a groundbreaking in-vitro diagnostic technology that can provide a solution by rapidly diagnosing blood stream infections at the patient’s bedside. SepTec can detecting and classify pathogens within 15 minutes at very low concentrations (<10 CFU/ml) without the need for slow, complicated lab tests.
Unlike current approaches, SepTec is near-patient rather than lab-based. So it is more cost-effective, portable, easier-to-use (no specialist training required) and can extend testing to a wider range of care settings. Early pathogen identification also offers the potential to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics; supporting efforts to prevent the proliferation of antibiotic resistant pathogens.
Preliminary health economics research shows that our rapid Sepsis infection diagnosis will result in patients receiving the correct treatment between 2 and 4.5 days earlier than in current protocols; resulting in a consequent 50% reduction in mortality rate, 25 times fewer patients receiving unnecessary antibiotics and a healthcare saving between €17-40m per 5m population.