Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to reinvent the entire life sciences industry—from discovery to development, to the submission process and beyond, to delivery of the product and risk mitigation of the product on the market, including management of patient safety data. “AI is happening now and is being brought into a whole range of different areas in life sciences, whether it’s data from wearables or novel delivery mechanisms,” says Jackie Hunter of BenevolentBio. “I don’t think there will be an aspect of the life sciences that won’t be affected by AI.” Researchers are using the power of AI to mine data, and increasingly intelligent robotics will remove routine tasks from the lab and elsewhere in product development so as to free scientists to focus on more bespoke, higher-level tasks, she says.
Innovation through AI
Although many AI applications are considered to be only in their infancy, Martin Gouldstone of Results Healthcare says, development has reached a point where software and hardware can create true, AI-enabled learning systems that are tailored for a specific purpose. For many, the holy grail of AI in the area of life sciences is to put it to use in the discovery of new drug targets or even in new applications for existing drugs. Experts in the area say that’s not far off. “In the near term, we’ll see AI-discovered drugs come to market,” Gouldstone says. From a public health perspective, there is enormous interest in developing a suitably powerful tool that provides medical advice for the prevention of self-induced disease, Gouldstone adds.
To read A 2017 Pulse on Artificial Intelligence in Life Sciences in full