Top AI use cases in Pharma and Bio medicine
The use cases of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the healthcare sector, especially in the pharma and biomedicine field, is gaining momentum.
Herein, we would like to go beyond the AI trends that exist in this ever-growing healthcare sector. Let’s start!
In our research, we found that approximately 50% of global healthcare companies will implement AI strategies and broadly adopt technology by 2025. In particular, global pharma and drug development companies will invest more in discovering new drugs for chronic and oncology diseases.
Through this article, we focused on what are the artificial intelligence applications that are highly using by the top 5 global pharma and drug development companies.
In this article, we aimed at clearing the doubts that most healthcare business leaders have their in mind such as-
- What are the major AI and Machine Learning (ML) applications are increasingly using at the top pharma companies?
- Are these companies follow common AI trends to reap the benefits? If so, what are the AI trends for Pharma companies?
- How much global pharmaceutical and drug development companies are investing in machine learning and AI applications?
Now, we will directly move into our topic “how top pharma companies (like Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, Bayer, and Novartis, etc.) are implementing AI applications.
I hope this article would help medium or startup pharma companies to know how AI help them in generating increased RoI.
#1 Johnson & Johnson- The America’s top pharmaceutical company
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has started implementing AI since 2015 after the collaboration with IBM’s Watson Health. IBM Watson is an AI-powered cloud system designed to process enormous amounts of healthcare data. It provides proof-based responses to professionals in natural language.
At present, the company is striving to put its total efforts to combine expertise and the power of AI and ML to come up with new drugs, treatments, and surgical methods.
The company has created a joint venture, Verb Surgical in partnership with Google Verily in 2015 to develop AI and ML-powered surgical robots to perform minimally invasive medical surgeries. Still, research works ongoing on Verb’s robots and is expected to come into the market by the end of 2020.
AI in Drug Discovery & Development
To remain competitive in this digital world, J&J continuing to merge its expertise and intelligent AI strategies to bring outstanding drugs and surgical solutions into the market.
The company is investing heavily in discovering precision medicine. Using the capabilities of AI and machine learning technologies, the company is aiming to provide more personalized healthcare services to patients based on their genetic profiles. Hence, this will help to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
AI to treat Alzheimer’s
In collaboration with WinterLight Labs, J&J reaps the benefits of an AI platform to monitor neuropsychological details to treat Alzheimer’s.
WinterLight’s speech-based smart AI platform can detect, understand, and record hundreds of measurable variables from a patient’s natural language. So that the automatic analysis of Alzheimer’s can be detected.
Future Plans of J&J using AI, IoT and Cloud Technologies
In addition to these, J&J continuing to invest in existing digital initiatives to grab digital opportunities. For instance: J&J using IoT to monitor product distribution, and their interaction with patients seamlessly.
With integrating IoT sensors into medical devices such as lenses and artificial joint replacement products, J&J was in plans to advance the clinical monitoring process of patients after surgeries.
If you’re ready to find a challenging business with AI, We’d love to meet you. CONTACT US to know more about the use cases of AI that help Pharma companies.
#2 Roche Holding AG- Top AI Investor
Roche, one of the global largest pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies. For the past few years, it is spreading announcements regarding how it is using AI technology to enhance its drug development operations rapidly.
Recently, in 2018, it acquired Flatiron Health. Flatiron Health is engaged in maintaining a vast amount of oncology data. This collaboration helped Roche to feed its ML systems for efficiently analyzing oncology disorders with more accuracy.
Later, in 2019, the company together with its subsidiary Genentech also started a predictive analytics project to better predict which diabetic retinopathy patients.
Likewise, Roche is collaborated with IBM and Sensyne Health to use AI for predicting chronic kidney diseases and for performing clinical trials respectively.
Pfizer, America’s one of the biggest multinational drug development organization, in partnership with IBM, is rushing to fully catch up the AI technology. With the help of the cloud-based platform, IBM Watson, Pfizer is targeting on getting millions of medical data to early detect and find novel therapies for cancers.
In a research collaboration with IBM, Novartis has to spread its arms into AI to get the best outcomes and for efficiently finding treatment options for breast cancers.
Using the real-time data provided by IBM’s cloud-based platform, Watson the company is deriving valuable insights related to the efficient outcomes of breast cancer treatment.
#5 Bayer Pharmaceuticals
This biggest pharma company is highly investing in emerging technologies like AI and ML with a focus on providing drugs for cancer and other life-threatening disorders.
As of media reports, in January 2020, the company has made a research collaboration agreement with the Exscientia to come up with the innovative drugs for cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
The company believes that the innovative AI technology can improve quality and size and reduce developing costs too. Hence, the company continues to invest in AI to achieve fast discovery and development of drugs.
Just think, these pharma and biomedicine companies are already proved their strength in the global drug development industry. Then, why they are investing in AI technology?
The simple answer is that they are trying to become more competitive and advanced in the industry. Then, why don’t you invest in AI? If not yet invested to make your processes seamless and efficient.
USM always stand beside you to transform your intelligent ideas into a real-world AI solution. Get in touch to get your AI quote now!
Wireless aquatic robot could clean water and transport cells
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology developed a tiny plastic robot, made of responsive polymers, which moves under the influence of light and magnetism. In the future this ‘wireless aquatic polyp’ should be able to attract and capture contaminant particles from the surrounding liquid or pick up and transport cells for analysis in diagnostic devices. The researchers published their results in the journal PNAS.
The mini robot is inspired by a coral polyp; a small soft creature with tentacles, which makes up the corals in the ocean. Doctoral candidate Marina Pilz Da Cunha: “I was inspired by the motion of these coral polyps, especially their ability to interact with the environment through self-made currents.” The stem of the living polyps makes a specific movement that creates a current which attracts food particles. Subsequently, the tentacles grab the food particles floating by.
The developed wireless artificial polyp is 1 by 1 cm, has a stem that reacts to magnetism, and light steered tentacles. “Combining two different stimuli is rare since it requires delicate material preparation and assembly, but it is interesting for creating untethered robots because it allows for complex shape changes and tasks to be performed,” explains Pilz Da Cunha. The tentacles move by shining light on them. Different wavelengths lead to different results. For example, the tentacles ‘grab’ under the influence of UV light, while they ‘release’ with blue light.
FROM LAND TO WATER
The device now presented can grab and release objects underwater, which is a new feature of the light-guided package delivery mini robot the researchers presented earlier this year. This land-based robot couldn’t work underwater, because the polymers making up that robot act through photothermal effects. The heat generated by the light fueled the robot, instead of the light itself. Pilz Da Cunha: “Heat dissipates in water, which makes it impossible to steer the robot under water.” She therefore developed a photomechanical polymer material that moves under the influence of light only. Not heat.
And that is not its only advantage. Next to operating underwater, this new material can hold its deformation after being activated by light. While the photothermal material immediately returns to its original shape after the stimuli has been removed, the molecules in the photomechanical material actually take on a new state. This allows different stable shapes, to be maintained for a longer period of time. “That helps to control the gripper arm; once something has been captured, the robot can keep holding it until it is addressed by light once again to release it,” says Pilz Da Cunha.
FLOW ATTRACTS PARTICLES
By placing a rotating magnet underneath the robot, the stem circles around its axis. Pilz Da Cunha: “It was therefore possible to actually move floating objects in the water towards the polyp, in our case oil droplets.”
The position of the tentacles (open, closed or something in between), turned out to have an influence on the fluid flow. “Computer simulations, with different tentacle positions, eventually helped us to understand and get the movement of the stem exactly right. And to ‘attract’ the oil droplets towards the tentacles,” explains Pilz Da Cunha.
OPERATION INDEPENDENT OF THE WATER COMPOSITION
An added advantage is that the robot operates independently from the composition of the surrounding liquid. This is unique, because the dominant stimuli-responsive material used for underwater applications nowadays, hydrogels, are sensitive for their environment. Hydrogels therefore behave differently in contaminated water. Pilz Da Cunha: “Our robot also works in the same way in salt water, or water with contaminants. In fact, in the future the polyp may be able to filter contaminants out of the water by catching them with its tentacles.”
NEXT STEP: SWIMMING ROBOT
PhD student Pilz Da Cunha is now working on the next step: an array of polyps that can work together. She hopes to realize transport of particles, in which one polyp passes on a package to the other. A swimming robot is also on her wish list. Here, she thinks of biomedical applications such as capturing specific cells.
To achieve this, the researchers still have to work on the wavelengths to which the material responds. “UV light affects cells and the depth of penetration in the human body is limited. In addition, UV light might damage the robot itself, making it less durable. Therefore we want to create a robot that doesn’t need UV light as a stimuli,” concludes Pilz Da Cunha.
Robot jaws shows medicated chewing gum could be the future
Medicated chewing gum has been recognised as a new advanced drug delivery method but currently there is no gold standard for testing drug release from chewing gum in vitro. New research has shown a chewing robot with built-in humanoid jaws could provide opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to develop medicated chewing gum.
The aim of the University of Bristol study, published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, was to confirm whether a humanoid chewing robot could assess medicated chewing gum. The robot is capable of closely replicating the human chewing motion in a closed environment. It features artificial saliva and allows the release of xylitol the gum to be measured.
The study wanted to compare the amount of xylitol remaining in the gum between the chewing robot and human participants. The research team also wanted to assess the amount of xylitol released from chewing the gum.
The researchers found the chewing robot demonstrated a similar release rate of xylitol as human participants. The greatest release of xylitol occurred during the first five minutes of chewing and after 20 minutes of chewing only a low amount of xylitol remained in the gum bolus, irrespective of the chewing method used.
Saliva and artificial saliva solutions respectively were collected after five, ten, 15 and 20 minutes of continuous chewing and the amount of xylitol released from the chewing gum established.
Dr Kazem Alemzadeh, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who led the research, said: “Bioengineering has been used to create an artificial oral environment that closely mimics that found in humans.
“Our research has shown the chewing robot gives pharmaceutical companies the opportunity to investigate medicated chewing gum, with reduced patient exposure and lower costs using this new method.”
Nicola West, Professor in Restorative Dentistry in the Bristol Dental School and co-author, added: “The most convenient drug administration route to patients is through oral delivery methods. This research, utilising a novel humanoid artificial oral environment, has the potential to revolutionise investigation into oral drug release and delivery.”
VC Funding – Outlook Bumpy, But Some Optimism
Research on the NewLaw and legal tech market by financial advisory group Raymond James has found that venture capital (VC) investment is still showing signs of health, but that there may well be a bumpy road ahead for some. In fact, Q2 2020 saw a better total VC funding level than all but three of the past Quarters going back to Q2 2017.
Data (see below) shows that in developed countries, 2020 Q2 saw 23 fundraises with a total of £165m raised for NewLaw and legal tech companies – which is not bad at all given the climate.
Q2 2019 saw less raised at £153m, but the following Quarter, Q3 2019, saw 47 funding rounds, with an incredible £487m raised. It will be hard – if not impossible – to see that happen in Q3 this year amid the Coronavirus’s impact.
VC funds still backed 23 rounds in Q2 2020, fewer than Q1 with 34, suggesting more money is going into a smaller group of more mature companies, often where VCs see a real chance for rapid scaling, which again will not be every company searching for funds.
As seen with Onna’s recent $27m raise and Bryter’s $16m Series A raise, and that of LawGeex’s at $20m, there is still a lot of interest in legal tech companies that can meet the scaling demands of investors in the current climate.
And, almost to prove the point, UK-based legal tech/proptech startup Orbital Witness has closed a £3.3m seed funding round led by LocalGlobe and Outward VC with participation from previous investors, including Seedcamp and JLL Spark. This investment round brings Orbital Witness’s total funding to £4.5m. The company uses satellite technology to provide greater insight into property deals.
[Note: Clio’s fundraise of $250m and Icertis’s fundraise of $115m are included in the £487m total for Q3 2019, but NOT INCLUDED in the £586m Last Twelve Month analysis rolling total (the top dark blue line) to make sure very large deals don’t skew the overall trend indication.]
In terms of M&A, (see table below), Q2 2020 also saw a drop, but……Q1 2020 was the best Quarter for legal tech and NewLaw M&A going back three years, with 23 deals.
For example, we have seen Litera making interesting capability-based bolt-on acquisitions, Access bought a PMS solution in Eclipse (which fits Access’ SME focus), and Tikit acquired by Advanced to build out Advanced Legal.
The reality is that in these turbulent times we may well see a spike in M&A later in 2020 as consolidators and platform builders, including the giants such as Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis, see an opportunity to scoop up useful add-ons at good prices. But, we will see…..
Junya Iwamoto, Director at Raymond James in London, is part of the team that put together the report. The full list of team members connected with this sector and report are:
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