Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body's own immune system overreacts in response to an infection and damages tissue. Organ dysfunction may occur when the infection-fighting processes turn on the body. There is a critical unmet need for quickly and accurately characterizing sepsis infections as bacterial or viral, which, collectively, are estimated to kill 11 million people every year worldwide. Using proprietary AI and H2O.ai technologies, our expert bioinformatics and assay development teams are building a host response-based diagnostics pipeline designed to aid doctors in diagnosing sepsis and other acute infections within 30 minutes of test initiation.
The two most common diagnostics used for identifying infections are imaging studies and analysis of body fluids. Imaging studies, such as X-rays or ultrasound, may be used to identify infectious locations, but they are limited to certain areas of the body and are not sufficiently reliable at diagnosing infections. The use of body fluids such as blood to identify pathogens - bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms that can cause infections - can take days, a loss of precious time when every minute counts. Furthermore, while blood cultures have been the ‘gold standard’ for diagnosing sepsis for many years, pathogens are not detected in the bloodstream in nearly 50% of the cases, making these tests insufficient for diagnosing infections.
The body already has one of the best diagnostic systems around—its own immune system, which responds immediately to invading pathogens. Each cell in the body contains the same genes (DNA), but different cell types are programmed to produce different gene products (RNA and proteins). The abundance of RNA corresponding to different genes is called the "gene expression profile" of the cell type. The gene expression profiles of white blood cells change in response to infections as the immune system activates. Inflammatix scientists and others have shown that changes in patterns of gene expression can accurately diagnose severe infections. Artificial intelligence is being used to differentiate between viral infections, bacterial infections, and inflammation with a non-infectious origin. Inflammatix is developing a 30-min point-of-care solution that uses a blood sample and quantifies the current expression of key immune-response genes. The pattern is analyzed by Inflammatix AI and determines if the patient has an infection, its cause (bacterial or viral), and the level of severity.
To date, Inflammatix models suggest improvements in accuracy over existing diagnostic methods and in particular, turn-around-time, which will significantly increase its usefulness in emergency care and other urgent care settings. H2O.ai is proud to support Inflammatix in their goal of improving outcomes for millions of patients affected by acute infections each year.
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