Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Pharma

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a trending and hottest technology with a huge scope of implementation in all sectors, which will ultimately not only benefit the community but also simplify the lifestyle to a great extent. According to industry analysts, the role of Artificial Intelligence will be higher in 2018 and is expected to transform and refine the healthcare industry in a big way. Even though there is a growing confusion among researchers over the progress and adoption including competition, you can expect major changes in the healthcare and pharma sectors once the Artificial Intelligence is completely integrated into the various fields of medicine. The companies should tap into Big Data, Machine Learning and AI to change the way we interact with the pharmaceutical segment.

Firstly, the nature of human thinking should be ascertained using long-term goals and potential of the technology at the macro level. After that, the complex problems can be solved easily with proper documentation. The main role of the AI should be to combat human capabilities via applications.

The AI revolution can be tapped by Imaging applications. It is to be noted that few companies have already received FDA approvals. However, the goal of the researchers should focus on emerging trends, drivers, and challenges in the evolving Pharma industry.

To successfully implement AI in the healthcare industry, you need to dissect data access and computing power. The huge growth of social, medical, biometrics, biochemical provides the required raw materials to design and develop the required algorithms, which will power a wide range of applications. Moreover, companies should also make effective use of sensors, chatbots, Augmented Reality (AR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) before proceeding to integrate AI into medical and Pharma field.

The AI can be used to identify disease and related diagnosis. As per a report released by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in 2015, over 700+ medicines and vaccines to treat cancer were put into trial via AI and ML. The biologist should work in close relationship with information scientists before arriving at a conclusion.

The IBM Watson Health has inked a strategic partnership with IBM Watson Genomics in October 2016 to integrate cognitive computing and genomic tumor sequencing with precision medicine. Meanwhile, Boston-based Berg is making use of AI to develop diagnostics and therapeutic treatments in a wide range of specialization including Oncology. The company is currently conducting dosage trials for intravenous tumor treatment including detection and management of prostate cancer via AI.

The macular degeneration is the big problem faced by people above 60 years of age. The vision will slowly decay if adequate treatment is not provided. The DeepMind Health, which is a division of Google has established partnerships with London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital to develop a new technology to cure macular degeneration via AI.

Meanwhile, P1vital based in Oxford has developed a system named PReDicT to combat depression by making use of predictive analytics to offer treatment. The main purpose of PReDicT is to provide a viable emotional test battery.

Customized treatment

With AI, health care providers will be able to provide customized medicine based on the health parameters coupled with predictive analytics. For example, the medical data, history and past results of a patient can be used to optimize the treatment. Moreover, an automated algorithm should transfer all the data to physician’s PC or mobile device instantly via advanced algorithms. It is also possible to keep track of the health from the physician’s home by making use of biosensors, devices, and mobile apps. The blood glucose levels and other parameters can be monitored regularly and alerts can be generated if a proper system with ML and AI is implemented.

Somatix has developed an ML-based gesture app to diagnose behavioral attitude. The app uses recognition of hand to mouth gestures to understand behavior and decide on the changes in the lifestyle. The SkinVision Detect Skin Cancer app helps you to make an online assessment of the deadly disease. The developers disclosed that it is the first of the kind and has been clinically proven and certified by CE. The app has an ability to detect more than 3.000.000 skin images and also detected more than 1000+ cancerous skin lesions.

Drug Discovery

It is possible to use trending technologies such as MI and AI for the screening of drug compounds. The Clinical Machine Learning Group under MIT has developed a precision medicine research system, which is geared towards the development of algorithms not only to understand disease process but also to offer effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes. The Project Hanover developed by Microsoft make use of AI technology for cancer treatment. The purpose of the project is to develop a customized drug combination for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Going forward, we can expect a steep increase in the use of ML in pharmaceuticals bio-manufacturing. The data obtained from the experimental stage have a great potential to reduce the total time required to produce drugs resulting in decreased cost. The companies will be able to improve the overall quality of the drugs by analyzing the analytics data gathered via AI from previous iterations.

Clinical Trial Research

The AI can be applied using advanced predictive analytics for the purpose of clinical trial research. The researchers will be able to gather a wide range of data when compared to the conventional methods. It includes social media activity, doctor visits, genetic information and other related factors. The Artificial Intelligence coupled with ML can also be used for remote monitoring of patients and also to fetch real-time data. The past records of the patient should be stored in such a way to enable doctors to analyze them at a single glance.

Imaging & Radiology

Going forward, automated algorithms will be able to read thousands of imaging data per minute reducing the work of radiologists. The DeepMind Health in association with Google is currently working in close association with University College London Hospital (UCLH) to design and develop ML algorithms. The real purpose of the cooperation is to find ways to detect differences between healthy and cancerous tissues. Moreover, researchers are making an effort to simplify the segmentation process to increase the accuracy of radiotherapy.

Digital Health Records

Researchers should make use of vector machines and optical character recognition, barcodes, QR codes to analyze health records digitally. The integrated AI-enabled system should transfer data to various servers across the globe for easy retrieval. The health care providers should make use of ML handwriting recognition technology developed by MATLAB and Google’s Cloud Vision API. The Clinical Machine Learning Group associated with MIT is currently in the process of developing next-generation electronic health records system, which will most likely incorporate ML/AI for the purpose of diagnosis, treatment suggestions including arriving at a clinical decision.

Epidemic Outbreak Prediction

The prevention of epidemics is of utmost importance for the maintenance of good health. The AI can be used to monitor and predict epidemic outbreaks based on the data collected from various satellites, real-time updates including other related parameters. The artificial neural networks can be used to predict malaria outbreaks by taking into consideration factors such as temperature, rainfall, positive case number, past history and others. The health care providers should make use of software such as ProMED-mail, which is used to not only monitoring diseases but also provide epidemic outbreak reports.

Cyclone Prediction

Even though Cyclone doesn’t fall under the ambit of pharma sector, we feel a need to emphasize a point here. Recently, Cyclone Ockhi devastated the lives of people in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The people living in coastal areas are severely hit with a heavy loss of life, properties, and others. Moreover, epidemics started to spread around the area and hospitals are finding it difficult to manage the situation. Hence, there is a need to automatically predict the attack of Cyclones accurately. The weather scientists should make use of Artificial Intelligence to identify the changes in the atmospheric processes and climatic conditions. her data gathered should be transferred to relevant Government departments and officials for necessary action.

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The concept of Artificial Intelligence is not new since it exists for several years. However, the researchers started to make use of the AI for solving real-world problems associated with various sectors. The Pharma sector is growing on a daily basis and there is a need to improve the productivity of the people working in this field by making use of trending technologies such as AI. Going forward, you will see a huge growth of the AI-enabled pharmaceutical segment in terms of disease diagnosis, treatment, prevention, data management and others.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and currently part of MVP Reconnect program. He is also part of the prestigious ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at

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