AI Technology for Pharma is Changing How the Pharma Industry Works

Kimberly Gregorio | March 7, 2022

Artificial Intelligence is Changing How the Pharma Industry Works

Artificial Intelligence (AI) sounds very technical and scientific, futuristic even to the ears of ordinary people. We see this thing mostly in sci-fi movies and sometimes in the news where intelligent robots are being featured. These scientific developments on AI often make one ask where and how these things can be useful. Or if Artificial Intelligence is solely about making smarter robots.

What is AI?

By textbook definition1, AI is a sub-field of computer science. Its goal is to enable the development of computers that are able to do things normally done by people. In particular, it's things associated with people acting intelligently. However, AI is divided into three camps where the goals differ through the system advancement the machine is running with. With weak AI, machines don't take on the same level of intelligence as humans. The goal is limited to just getting the job done by the machine. Another AI camp refers to the developments that simulate some basic forms of human intelligence, but not targeted at total imitation. For those developers and scientists whose goal is to run systems that think like humans and simulate human cognition, that's strong AI. This system hasn't yet fully been successful imitating the human mind as much as expected.

AI is beneficial in many different sectors. Some studies have shown its potential advantages not just in technology, but also in education and the business sector. Additionally, AI has proven to provide massive impact in the healthcare industry. As to everyone’s knowledge, healthcare relies on more than just tips and tricks. More researchers and advancements in technology are needed to improve it, to be able to better cater to the varying healthcare needs of the people. The integration of artificial intelligence has provided solutions to problems and needs of patients, people in the medical profession, and the entire industry. The list below shows five ways AI has influenced the healthcare industry.

Virtual Assistance

This is one of the most recognizable technologies incorporating artificial intelligence. Virtual assistance is already used often. An example would be Apple’s Siri. In the past, people would need to go to the doctor to be able to be correctly diagnosed. For many whom aren't able to see one, they most likely revert to self- assessment, diagnosis, and medication. Thanks to AI, several apps are already available today to help a patient understand their symptoms. The system provides accurate answers to their medical condition. Two of these examples are the following:

Your MD

Medical information given out to its users have been verified and approved by UK’s Health Service (NHS). This means that its users can be assured that they are given authentic and reliable medical information. The app, used its large network of information to link the symptoms to the medical condition of its user. Thus, providing more ways to remedy the illness of the user. Additionally, it warns the user when there's a need to see a doctor.

Babylon Health

This health assistant follows up with the user regarding his or her previously reported symptoms. When there's a need for the user to see a doctor, the app sets up a live video with a real doctor.

data analytics video conference of doctor

Analysis and Diagnosis

In the past, cancer was usually confirmed after tissues were sent to the laboratory for analysis. This step, would determine whether or not a patient had cancer and its severity. Today, early diagnosis can be done prior to laboratory testing with AI integrated machines. A machine with this technology is being used in hospitals to give a better CT scan and x-ray results and reading. The high-tech machine from introversion is able to detect suspicious lesions and nodules. This way, doctors are able to give early detection to lung cancer patients. Thus, treatment begins early and creates a better chance for recovery.

Treatment Advancements

AI has opened advancements in healthcare treatments for patients. Advancements in monitoring the treatment and in providing better plans for them. An app called AiCure, assists in reminding the patient to take their medications on time, adhering to the doctor’s advice, and sticking to other treatment routines.

Treatment Plans

In Florida Community Hospital, IBM’s Watson for Oncology will be used to provide cancer care teams with effective treatment plans and therapies. The AI platform has an advanced ability to analyze structured and unstructured data in clinical notes and reports. An AI algorithm that was launched by IBM is called "The Medical Sieve." It's a cognitive health assistant used in radiology and cardiology. It has the ability to analyze radiology images, detect abnormalities and find problems much faster.

Reduced Costs of Treatment

According to Frost & Sullivan, a research and consulting organization, AI has the potential to reduce treatment costs by as much as 50%.

happy pharma sales rep using laptop

AI technology reduces the risk of human errors in the detection and analysis of a patient’s medical condition. This, reduces the frequency of visits to the doctor. On the other hand, the efficient early disease detection helps in reducing the chances of longer hospitalization. Resulting doctors being able to recommend alternative treatment routes to the patient. In many ways, advancements in AI have opened tremendous improvements in the healthcare industry. It not only helps ease the work of doctors and medical staff, but the lives of patients as well. Although AI still poses risks, as the technology has not yet achieved perfection, the benefits outweigh the risks. Hopefully, through the advancements in the AI technology for pharma, communities in remote areas that have limited access to healthcare assistance will be able to gain from its benefits.