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Point of care systems for detection of bacterial infection: An i-sense workshop

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On Tuesday 10th March, i-sense held its second collaborative workshop to discuss the clinical needs for an early-warning system for bacterial infections. 

In collaboration with the North East regional Public Health England (PHE) laboratory, 31 delegates gathered at the one-day workshop 'Point of Care Systems for Detection of Bacterial Infection' to help us ensure that i-sense's early warning systems met current clinical, public health and industry needs and demands. Delegates represented hospital consultants (A&E, adult infectious diseases, paediatric infectious diseases, general medicine and critical care), Public Health England, clinical microbiologists, Public Health STI and the mobile diagnostics industry.

i-sense Director, Rachel McKendry and Deputy Director Calum McNeil kicked off the meeting by presenting our work, linking advanced mobile phone-connected diagnostic tests with web data (e.g. millions of symptoms reported on the web and social media), for a variety of applications in clinical microbiology.

People also heard from Dr Andy Sails who presented the work being done at Newcastle University's PHE Microbiology Laboratory and provided a public health perspective on the current diagnostics landscape. Participants were then invited to enter into an open debate on their minimum and aspirational requirements for the identification and diagnosis of bacterial infections. 

The workshop was well received, with participants calling the event ""an inspiring meeting" and  a "useful update on technology and how it could be applied".

i-sense was able to get excellent feedback on the systems we should be developing for bacterial infections including what targets we should be concentrating on within i-sense, what the analytical demands for identification of those targets are and their requirements for surveillance and tracking. We are using this information to create a definitive list of bacterial targets to address within the i-sense project timeline and we are in talks with various stakeholders to form some exciting collaborations.  

The workshop was hosted by i-sense Professor Calum McNeil, Dr Neil Keegan and Dr Chris Johnson at Newcastle University and Dr Andy Sails from Public Health England.