AMIRA Meditech and the mission to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations -

November 28, 20230
How the UN!course inspired the founding of an innovative company in the field of digital healthcare?


She is a physician specializing in clinical pharmacology and therapy. He is an IT specialist in the field of digital healtcare. They were brought together by coincidence and the mission to save lives.

Natalia Konova and Teodor Stamenov founded AMIRA Meditech in 2022, driven by the mission to address the problem of irrational use of antibiotics and thereby extend their life. Their paths crossed in JA Bulgaria‘s pre-accelerator program – Beyond. And the inspiration for entrepreneurial ventures in the healthcare sector came during a lecture of the UN!course on Digital Health and Innovation, organized by the Digital Health and Innovation Cluster (DHI Cluster) in collaboration with JA Bulgaria.

Natalia and Teodor’s vision is for AMIRA Meditech to become the leading company working to fight antibiotic resistance, driving a digital revolution on antibiotic use.

Find out more about their motivation to start a company in the field of digital healthcare and their future plans for its development. 👇

1. To start off, can you tell us more about the scope of the problem with antimicrobial resistance (AMR), how does it affect our future and what AMIRA Meditech does to address this issue? 


Unfortunately, a large proportion of the public is unaware of the problem of increasing antimicrobial drug resistance (AMR). Due to a number of factors, over time, pathogens evolve and become insensitive to the effects of the antibiotics we have available today to treat bacterial infections. Certain factors further complicate the situation:

New antibiotics are not being discovered – after a boom of discoveries of new antibiotic molecules in the 20th century, no new significant antibiotic groups have been discovered in recent decades and many pharmaceutical companies are now reducing the efforts and funding of their R&D departments in this area.

The global consumption of antibiotics is expected to increase dramatically – in addition to Earth’s increasing population, human life expectancy is also increasing, and advanced age is a risk factor for contracting a bacterial infection.

Frightening projections related to AMR – by 2050, 10 million people are expected to die each year from infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria, or so-called superbugs.

Rising economic costs associated with AMR and the irrational use of antibiotics – today in the EU an average of €1.5 billion is wasted each year, which could be redirected to other parts of medicine.

All these factors make it crucial that doctors and responsible institutions act to preserve the effectiveness of existing antibiotics. The frightening thing is that this problem is a reality these days – as a practising doctor at the Alexandrovska Hospital, I am already confronted with it.

2. Can you explain the key features or innovations that set AMIRA Meditech apart?


After extensive research, we found that one of the main drivers of the rise in resistance is the irrational use of antibiotics by doctors and by patients themselves. Our mission with AMIRA Meditech is to extend the life of antibiotics by optimising their use by doctors in hospital settings and by providing digital solutions to help hospitals and institutions tackle resistance both locally and internationally.

The hospital software we created contains a medical algorithm for decision support based on evidence-based medicine (up-to-date guideline and guidelines), local resistance data and individual patient characteristics. In addition to advising the physician on the most appropriate antibiotic for the specific patient, which is personalised to individual characteristics, the algorithm also takes into account the geographical location where the infection occurs because resistance varies from hospital to hospital.

Recommendations include which is the most appropriate antibiotic or combination of antibiotics, what dose, dosing regimen and duration of administration are most optimal and what side effects and drug interactions can be expected, along with various reminders throughout the course of administration to ensure the most rational use of antibiotics. The software also has valuable features for hospital management and stakeholder institutions, allowing tracking of antibiotic use by the entire hospital unit – for what infections were administered, for what duration, was the administration correct, etc.

If we have to talk about the scale of applicability of the solution, it is vast – starting from the average doctor fighting infections on a daily basis, to the heads of the respective department, the doctors in the microbiology unit, the head of the hospital and going up to the national level and European level – to have a view and access going on in each hospital, how resistance is moving, and from there going up to the European and global level.


Information is one of the most valuable things nowadays. Our future plans are to develop in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Through it, we can achieve a revolution in the timely adaptation of basic recommendations in the treatment of a disease. Very often, the analysis to change a recommendation is based on data from a very long period of time, i.e. data is collected for a certain period of time, analyzed and treatment recommendations are created or changed.

It is our intention that this period be drastically reduced because resistance can vary over very short periods of time. If we are able to adapt the recommendations to doctors to the rising resistance, this will lead to instant results in the fight against resistance.

3. We, at the DHI Cluster, know that AMIRA Meditech is doing quite impressive recently and is going in the right direction, but we are interested in how it all started – what prompted you to create AMIRA Meditech and focus exactly on AMR?


Teo and I are both JA Bularia alumni – we took part in their Beyond re-accelerator in 2022, and we are very grateful to the program because thanks to it we were able to form this strong team and make the idea a reality.

I personally found Beyond and the idea to do entrepreneurship thanks to the lectures of the UN!course on innovation, digitalization and entrepreneurship at the Medical University – Sofia (MU-Sofia), organized by the Digital Health and Innovation Cluster (DHI Cluster) together in cooperation with JA Bulgaria. The course was quite new back then, we were maybe only four or five students attending it, and it touched on topics that are outside the traditional curriculum set at MU-Sofia.

So, one of these UN!lectures was led by Milena Stoycheva, currently the Minister of Innovation and Growth, who ignited in me the spark for entrepreneurship in the context of healthcare – something I had never heard before. I’ll never forget sitting at the front of the bench and listening in amazement. It all sounded very new, different and interesting to me. The lecture tickled my curiosity and after it, I decided to explore and dig deeper into the topic and that’s how I ended up at Beyond.

That’s why, I think this course is something amazing, something that inspires and broadens the horizons and critical thinking of future doctors and I support it immensely.


As Natalia mentioned, we met during Beyond’s pre-accelerator program.

And how did I get there? A friend of mine accidentally sent me information about the program in order to get us both involved. At the time, I was having personal issues and wasn’t quite convinced that now was the right time. My hesitation lasted until the last day and I almost missed the deadline to sign up. I’m glad I was able to sign up and that’s how the AMIRA story began.

We had to record a video introducing ourselves, talking about ourselves – interests, competencies, ideas, etc. That’s how I came across Natalia’s video, she was talking quite passionately about her ideas in healthcare and I was very interested in this sector so I decided to contact her.

That’s how it all started.


In reality, the topic of antibiotic resistance is close to both of our hearts – my PhD was on this topic and Teo has faced the problem in his personal life. It’s not just that we’ve come up with an idea, we’re really burning for it. Researching the problem we saw that there was a lot to be done about it. In fact, the validation from many people, institutions and related events gave us the courage that we were on the right wave.

After winning the Bulgarian Beyond, we then went to Estonia where we represented Bulgaria. We won 2 Intel awards who proactively contacted us and pushed us to work with AI. I had the honour to be invited several times to the European Commission, one time personally by Mrs. Maria Gabriel, where we worked on issues related to entrepreneurship and antibiotic resistance. We have also found partners – investors – Innovation Capital and Sirma, together with whom we are almost ready with our MVP, which will soon be available on the market.

4. How big, in your opinion, is the role of educational institutions/medical universities in nurturing the entrepreneurial mindset in future medical practitioners?


Speaking from personal experience as a physician who in my student years was focused in medicine – without a touch of finance, accounting, marketing, etc., my environment before I entered Beyond was not the most stimulating for entrepreneurial action. For that reason, I think it’s very important to have courses like the UN!course that stimulate and encourage students to think outside the box.

This type of training and courses should be encouraged so that they can provide the skills needed for an entrepreneur to feel competent and ready to jump into the business world with confidence. Moreover, there is a tangible hunger for entrepreneurs in medicine and people who are competent in both fields are very valuable.

5. Creating and, especially, maintaining a health tech start-up is surely not an easy task – what were your biggest challenges along the way and what inspired you through the way, what kept you going?


The whole path of developing a tech startup is a big challenge, especially if it’s in digital health, as it’s a more conservative sector.

One of the biggest difficulties is and will be to build trust in new technology and innovation in medicine because there is a slight resistance to that happening at the moment. And this is not just about Bulgaria, but Europe as a whole.

As difficult as this challenge is for us, the motivation of knowing that your solution can save lives is the thing that drives us to move forward and not give up, despite all the obstacles along the way.

Even as we are having this conversation, people are dying as a result of resistant bacteria or so-called superbugs. It would be a huge success for me if we could save even one human life. This is a great motivation for us because we believe that we can reverse the trends and tackle the problem of resistance.

6. What is your vision for the future of your health tech company in relation to AMR? Are there any upcoming plans or innovations that you can share with us?


Becoming the number one company working to fight antibiotic resistance and revolutionise the use of antibiotics. ☺


We have a very clear vision of how we want to develop in the future and it was established in our first discussions with Natalia – we want to be the recognisable company that fights antibiotic resistance, i.e. if a hospital wants to solve this problem, let them know that we are there and have all the resources to help them tackle antibiotic resistance effectively..

7. What would you advise current medical students or/ and practitioners that are considering creating a startup in the health tech/ digital health sector?


Firstly, I would advise young medical students to get actively involved in pre-accelerator and accelerator programmes, regardless of which organisation they are with. It’s a great model where you go in even if you don’t have a specific idea or team and within months you can create something actionable that has a real future.

I would not miss recommending attending the DHI Cluster’s UN!course, which also helps to develop entrepreneurial and critical thinking in digital health, providing the opportunity to meet remarkable individuals who have excelled in this field. Also if something is on their mind, venture out to talk to potential clients to validate their ideas!


Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of people trying to develop projects or ideas on their own. My advice is to look for like-minded people to move forward and develop with, only united we can succeed…

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