A "groundbreaking" new app designed to help healthcare staff tackle antibiotic resistance has been launched in Scotland.

The Antimicrobial Companion will give practitioners quick access to clinical guidance and will support decision making on antibiotic prescribing, offering dosage calculators for key antibiotic medicines, customisable prescribing guidance, and a decision aid to support management of urinary tract infections in older people.

The app also provides an audit tool designed to support health boards in gathering data for local and Scottish Government targets.

While progress has already been made in improving antibiotic use and reducing unnecessary prescriptions, the Scottish Government funded app - developed by the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) within Healthcare Improvement Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland (NES) - provides clinicians with another tool to ensure their safe and effective use.

"Antibiotic use is characterised by waste and variation in practice, leading to harm. One of the key factors influencing better prescribing of antibiotics is the availability of easily accessible practical guidance in the workplace," noted Professor Dilip Nathwani OBE, Chair of the SAPG.

"This app makes it easier for our busy healthcare professionals to do the right and safe thing. Moreover, the availability within the app to evaluate this decision process through an audit component is unique and will further drive better practice."