Tackling antimicrobial resistance using Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to transform antibiotic prescription

Abtrace will use artificial intelligence techniques to provide doctors with the information they need to pick the correct antibiotic and dosage for every patient and every prescription. The innovation promises better treatment for patients, reduced financial costs of consuming the wrong antibiotics and, ultimately, a reduction in drug-resistant superbugs.


Scientists have recognised that a major cause of mutant, drug-resistant bacteria is the overuse, and misuse, of antibiotics. With artificial intelligence that assists in decision making, Abtrace will ensure that doctors are “selecting the right drug for the right bug” and giving the correct dosage in every individual case they treat – thereby helping prevent the mutations that lead to deadly superbugs.


Brought together through the EIT Health Wild Card 2018 process, the team competed with others for support. The founders are:

  • Dr. Umar Naeem Ahmad, a frontline clinician.
  • Helder Soares a medicinal chemist developing novel compounds.
  • Dr. Cristina Correia, a biomedical engineer working on the interface of research and industry.
  • The Instituto Pedro Nunes, in Coimbra, an EIT Health Associate Partner, was chosen through the Wild Card programme as the incubator to house this project.

The project

Abtrace will create and implement a solution by which antibiotic usage is analysed, tracked and tailored. Based on AI analysis that looks at data on dosages and success rates in treating infections with antibiotics, Abtrace’s innovation will empower clinicians with the benefit of collective medical experience, so that they can make the best treatment decisions for patients. The system helps doctors choose the right medicine in the right dosage, instantly. This means it prevents the kind of over-prescription or improper prescription that can increase the development of resistant strains of bacteria through mutation.

Ideally, the Abtrace innovation will usher in an improvement in routine practice, so that all antibiotic usage is analysed, tracked and tailored, and clinicians are empowered with the benefit of collective medical experience to make the correct treatment decisions for patients. This approach not only promises better use of antibiotics, but can bring in a wider transformation in the way medicine is practiced and understood.

As an EIT Health Wild Card Project, EIT Health and its Partners determined the challenge this project would address. The team was tasked with establishing a start-up and receives mentoring and financial support of up to €2 million to help make commercialise their innovation.


Because it will ensure that doctors give the right amount of the appropriate drug, the Abtrace solution will help patients by improving their treatment. The solution will also help payers, by reducing unnecessary treatment. The ultimate beneficiaries of better use of antibiotics is almost everyone, as this approach can help to prevent the development of deadly, drug-resistant superbugs.

Why this is an EIT Health project

This project addresses the 2018 EIT Health Wild Card Challenge of “Fight Back”, which sought projects that aim to address antimicrobial resistance. EIT Health designed this project through the creation of teams, training, competitive selection and choice of incubator. The project is also in keeping with the EIT Health Focus Areas of “Care Pathways”, because it uses innovation to improve treatment, and “Real World Data”, because it uses previous patients and treatments to inform decisions about new prescriptions.

Read more

We think there is a positive environment and growing momentum which makes this the right time to tackle this problem head on. We are confident we can deliver a solution which has both a viable business case and health impact.

Abtrace Founders

Helder Soares
Master in Chemistry | Director | Abtrace