AI algorithm to fight hospital-acquired infections gets support with NIH award

AI algorithm to fight hospital-acquired infections gets support with NIH award


Day Zero Diagnostics, an infectious disease diagnostics company using genome sequencing and machine learning to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections, has received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research award from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease of the National Institutes of Health.

The award will fund the development of ksim, an algorithm to automate the determination of infection relatedness in suspected hospital-acquired infection outbreaks.


The rising prevalence of antibiotic-resistant organisms has dramatically increased the risks of hospital-acquired infections. The infections already affect 4-5% of hospitalized patients in the U.S. and result in 99,000 patient deaths per year, Day Zero Diagnostics reported.

Preventing hospital-acquired infections can lead to fewer patients requiring antibiotic treatment, shorter hospital stays, and reduced exposure to antibiotic-resistant organisms, Day Zero Diagnostics explained. ksim promises to deliver a faster, more scalable, high-resolution approach for identifying hospital-acquired infection outbreaks, the company said.


The algorithm processes whole genome sequencing data in seconds, without the need for manual analysis steps, or the degree of computational intensity and dedicated time from a computational biologist required to conduct traditional sequence analysis, the company explained.

In this Phase I grant, Day Zero Diagnostics will continue the development and initial validation of ksim using data from published hospital outbreaks, a large dataset from a hospital, and data from the company’s epiXact service.

epiXact provides hospitals with a determination of infection relatedness in a suspected outbreak using whole genome sequencing data that is analyzed by the company’s team of expert computational biologists, the company explained.

With ksim powering the epiXact service, infection control teams will be armed with actionable results in less than 24 hours, a timeframe that can have a significant impact on the intervention decisions a hospital might employ to improve patient safety, the company said.


“Our goal is to leverage ksim’s precision, speed, and computational efficiency to enhance and expand our recently launched epiXact service for investigating suspected hospital-acquired infection outbreaks,” said Jong Lee, CEO and co-founder of Day Zero Diagnostics.

“Additionally, ksim will enable transformational strategies for outbreak detection and intervention that are not currently possible because it allows the automated processing of large datasets in real time,” he said.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
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