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Swiss alliance to combat “silent pandemic”

Swiss alliance to combat “silent pandemic”

Tokyo (SCCIJ) – Switzerland hosts many pharmaceutical developers and manufacturers. It is therefore more than logical that a Swiss-made alliance aims to combat the so-called “silent pandemic” of antimicrobial resistance. SPEARHEAD intends to create a globally scalable digital platform for the use of antibiotics. By 2050, antimicrobial resistance will cause around four times as many deaths as the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Swiss alliance to combat “silent pandemic”

A Swiss alliance is working to overcome antimicrobial resistance with a digital platform (© Pixabay CC0)

Rooted in Basel

The new alliance was founded in Basel with the support of Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, and will be known as the Swiss Pandemic & Antimicrobial Resistance – Health Economy Awareness Detect (SPEARHEAD). The consortium includes eight institutional and four private partners, most of whom are based in the Basel Area: the University of Basel, the University Children’s Hospital Basel (UKBB), Novartis, Resistell AG and Waat Switzerland GmbH.

Moreover, the Institute for Design at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IDSIA) at SUPSI, two of Switzerland’s five university hospitals and the reinsurance firm Swiss Re also form part of the SPEARHEAD alliance. As a result, Basel will be positioned as an important location in the fight against antibiotic resistance, a joint press release said.

The partners intend to play their part in a rapid digital pandemic fight by calling on their expertise in relation to Covid-19 and antimicrobial resistance. After all, this resistance is expected to cause around 10 million deaths in the year 2050, which would represent a fourfold increase on the death level attributable to the coronavirus pandemic year 2020.

Digital platform

The project will seek to develop a digital platform that has five main goals: establishing the flow of data to and from decision-makers in real time, making better use of Big Data for risk stratification and enabling real-time diagnostics to render centralized laboratory infrastructure superfluous. In addition, the population and municipalities should be more involved, while finally, the financial impact of the innovations presented should also be taken into account at an early stage.

SPEARHEAD is the first cooperation within the framework of the Bio-Campus, a strategic tri-national (Switzerland, France and Germany) initiative established by the University of Basel. Its vision is focused on innovatively shaping the global future of healthcare and wellbeing together with partners from the worlds of science, industry and civil society in addition to startups.

Text: Basel Area (editing by SCCIJ)

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