How is AI Changing Life Sciences for the Better?

Forget science fiction, AI is already here and it’s changing everything. Here’s a closer look at the ways AI is doing good across Life Sciences.

July 02, 2019

By Sam SmithVice President,Global Practice Lead, Life Science & Healthcare, KellyOCG

At our last TLIA (Talent Leadership in Action) event in London, Human + Machines, we had some fascinating conversations around technology and work. We were supported by a talented line-up of speakers who shared their impressive digital experience. One of these speakers was Sue Daley of Tech UK – an organisation that ‘represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow’. Sue shared compelling insights into why she thinks our AI-led future is set to be a positive one, saying:

“I think there is a real, huge potential for AI as a power for social good, if we are brave enough to embrace it. If we are brave enough to take that leap and explore what it can do.”

This inspired me to take a closer look at AI in the Life Sciences, and the ways it is already helping our clients to change the world for the better. These are just some of the benefits that AI is bringing to the table:

1. New Drugs Are Being Developed Faster

One of the biggest challenges in Life Sciences today is the development timetable for drugs and therapies. Historically, product development timelines have been between 7 and 10 years – a huge wait from both a business and patient perspective. AI can help to speed things up, especially at early stages of drug discovery, where high levels of repetition and data analysis can benefit enormously from the power of AI. Saving money and time while increasing accuracy.

2. Diagnostic Capability is Improving

The amount of data used in diagnostics makes it the perfect partner for AI-based tech. Histopathology (the study of tissues changed by disease) is one area that is already feeling the benefits. AI, used in conjunction with pattern recognition technology and complex algorithms, is supporting pathologists, allowing them to focus their time and expertise where it is needed most.

3. Data is More Easily Curated

Life Sciences is a data-driven business. From billions of patient records to clinical studies there are a huge number of data sets that AI can mine and curate. Making it easier for doctors, researchers, and experts to find relevant information fast.

4. AI Supports Transparency in Clinical Trials

Compliance in clinical trials (often across several geographical areas) is a huge legislative burden on Life Sciences organisations around the world. This may mean storing or redacting clinical data according to specific clinical guidelines. AI can learn to identify common keywords and patterns to accurately redact or organise data to meet important parameters. This can save both time and expense, while removing repetitive and mundane tasks from the workload of highly-skilled professionals.

Of course, AI is not without its concerns or complications. Developing AI has to be a careful blending of human values and ethics with a purely facts-driven framework, and this can be a tricky balancing act. But AI is an enormously powerful tool that can’t be ignored. What’s most important is that we leverage AI for the wider good. The future may already be here, but it is what we do with it that counts.


To discuss this topic further with the author or to learn more about our life sciences and healthcare expertise, contact us today.

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