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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X031276/1
Title: EPSRC Digital Health Hub for Antimicrobial Resistance
Principal Investigator: McKendry, Professor RA
Other Investigators:
Hetherington, Dr JP Cox, Professor IJ Lorencatto, Dr F
Shallcross, Dr L Lampos, Dr V Brown, Dr C S
Pollara, Dr G Gray, Dr S Jones, Professor DL
Stevens, Professor M Manley, Professor E Nastouli, Professor E
Elviss, Dr N C Hope, Dr r Zhuang, Dr M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Amazon Web Services (UK) Arup Group Ltd AstraZeneca
Faculty Science Ltd (AI) NICE Palantir Technologies UK
University of Cambridge
Department: London Centre for Nanotechnology
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2023 Ends: 30 November 2026 Value (£): 4,195,584
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Feb 2023 Digital Health Hubs Interview Panel Announced
18 Jan 2023 Digital Health Hubs Prioritisation Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Digital Health Hub for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) aims to harness innovative digital technologies to ultimately transform antimicrobial one-health surveillance and antimicrobial stewardship, recognising the interconnectedness of AMR between humans, animals and the environment.

The World Health Organization declared AMR - also known as the 'silent pandemic' - a top 10 global public health threat facing humanity. AMR also ranks on the UK Cabinet Office Risk Register and yet despite this recognition, there remains alarmingly low levels of attention and funding for AMR prevention. The 2016 O'Neill Review on Antimicrobial Resistance highlights that by 2050, 10 million lives a year and a cumulative US$100 trillion of economic output are at risk unless action is taken to reduce AMR. Resistant pathogens from animals, humans and food can be cross-transmitted and environmental reservoirs are a potentially important domain in which the mobilisation and transfer of resistant genes occur. Thus, an integrated One Health approach to AMR surveillance and public health action is needed. Moreover, there is growing concern that climate change could increase the risk of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

There is growing recognition of the importance of data science and digital health technologies in the fight against AMR, though the field remains in its infancy. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated advances in digital health technologies, driven by unprecedented need, and there is a huge opportunity to leverage these advances for AMR. However, there remain many challenges: poor understanding of one-health needs; data linkage, silos and gaps hinder surveillance; the lack of rapid tests, the lack of public awareness of AMR; digital interventions often do not prioritise user-led design and are not grounded in behaviour change; data privacy, security and ethical issues of bringing together large datasets; health inequalities and the digital divide; the disconnect between early stage research and AMR needs, and lack of understanding of how digital technologies can be commercialised, regulated and integrated into health systems and patient pathways.

The Digital Health Hub for AMR brings together a critical mass of Co-Is working across traditional disciplines for AMR, including computer science, biomedical engineering, behavioural social science, environmental science, data visualisation, and clinical and public health research, from five universities, NHS, UK Health Security Agency, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, charities and industry partners. Our hub vision will be achieved through five objectives:

1. Systems-level needs: To nurture a new culture of cross-sector engagement to accelerate the creation and adoption of digital health innovations for AMR one-health surveillance and antimicrobial stewardship.

2. Skills and Capacity: To grow interdisciplinary skills, capacity, knowledge sharing and leadership needed to deliver a world-leading digital health strategy for combatting AMR.

3. Grand Challenges: To co-create digital health solutions for two AMR grand challenges:

i) Digital one-health surveillance of antibiotic use and AMR, linking human, animal and environmental data

ii) Digital antimicrobial stewardship via decision support algorithms, digital diagnostics wearables and sensors

4. Partnership Fund: To grow critical mass and a hub of innovation by seeding interdisciplinary pilot studies between industry, academia, health and social care.

5. Impact and Engagement: To maximise hub impact and EPSRC's investment through our communications strategy, patient and public engagement, biannual conferences and events.

Key Findings
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