NARMS team wins grant to design public-health surveillance app

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) team has won a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Ventures Program Award to design a public health surveillance mobile application that will improve the ability of NARMS to carry out its mission. The mobile app will improve the collection of retail food surveillance data that are used for resistance monitoring.

NARMS is a collaborative program of state and local public health departments, the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This national public health surveillance system tracks changes in the antimicrobial susceptibility of enteric (intestinal) bacteria found in ill people (CDC), retail meats (FDA), and food animals (USDA) in the United States.

FDA's mobile app will advance the collection, management, and transfer of retail meat sample data collected in the field by creating an electronic system to replace manual data entry. The mobile app could reduce processing time for state agencies that collect and test retail meat by up to 16 hours per month and generate a cost savings of up to $200,000 annually. The app will also allow states to report their surveillance data to FDA in a more timely manner, which would support time-sensitive regulatory decision making and provide information needed to address food related outbreaks.

The FDA plans to have limited availability of a beta test version of the mobile app available by April 2016.


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