Worldwide participants are welcome to apply

Conversations with local teams, mentors and MSD leaders will be held in English.

Country to be implemented first: Gulf (UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar)

Required language: English (If in Arabic as well, it will be a plus). The solution interface can be in English


According to the World Health Organization, AntiMicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest threats to global health. Though it occurs naturally, the misuse of antibiotics in humans is accelerating the process. As a result, AMR leads to longer hospital stays and more intensive care requirements.

Anti-Microbial Stewardship programs (AMS) are initiatives that aim to support physicians to prescribe the right antibiotics for different patient conditions considering, among others, resistance. More information about AMS programs here, and concrete examples here. A local reference can be found here.

AMS success rate is below expectations in the Gulf. One barrier is the correct patient profiling to prescribe the best option of antibiotics. The profile is determined based on the hospital ecology, the type of infection of the patient and other data such as age, previous exposure to antimicrobials and comorbidities.

Other factors include:

  • Some physicians are used to prescribe the same antibiotics for long time and have automatisms (habits) that prevent them to think about better alternatives.
  • They are busy professionals that lack of time to keep updated or trained with the latest recommendations, hospital ecology or new antibiotics.
  • The paper-based format of AMS recommendations is not convenient for being accessed at the point of prescription.

Need/opportunity  description

MSD has identified the opportunity to help Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) to better prescribe antibiotics to their patients while also fighting against Antimicrobial Resistance.

The solution should be easy to use and engaging, while cost-effective. 

Though technology can clearly help to profile patients and access AMS recommendations in a more convenient way than today, solvers are invited to address also human factors that may prevent physicians to adopt the solution. For instance, motivation to give it a first try, and the required change management in their habits.

Who is impacted?

The following specialities regularly prescribe antibiotics: Infectious Diseases, Intensive Care Units, surgeons, Internal Medicine and Emergency Rooms.

In Gulf, these doctors are between 30 – 50 years of age, usually well-educated expats who work both in the public and private sector. They are familiar with technology including the use of smartphones. They are super-busy, and their work environment forces them to take decisions quickly and efficiently.

Reasons why this is happening

  • Antibiotic resistance to current available antibiotics in market.
  • Availability of many low-cost antibiotics (generics), which may be over-used and increase the probability of microbial resistance.
  • Low adherence to guidelines, programs or protocols to control the prescription of antibiotics.

What successful outcomes are expected?

  • Number of physicians that take advantage of the solution to fight against AMR.
  • Reduce AMR in targeted hospitals/countries.

Preferred relationship model

MSD initially aims for a sponsorship model where, apart from the $20.000 grant, it will support the solver company with the: 

  • Creation/adaptation of the digital solution to the Gulf market, including regulation, relevant information, etc.
  • Access and networking with scientific societies and/or local professional associations.
  • Support the market rollout leveraging local MSD channels.

What would mean that the relationship has been successful in 1 year

  • The solution is successfully launched in at least one Gulf country.
  • A promotional campaign has been executed leveraging local MSD channels.
  • It is regularly accessed by at least X* local physicians.

*Note: The targeted numbers will be quantified during co-creation with the local MSD team.

What we have tried in the past?

Only AMS protocol was used in the past and was not successful.