What is the future of AI and drug development?

A review recently published in the Journal Trends in Pharmacological Sciences analyzed the potential improvements that AI could bring to drug development in the next decade.

Researchers have only been using AI for 5 to 8 years, exploring its possibilities in the clinical trials field: it is applied in models that help develop trial design, techniques for patient recruitment and monitoring systems, in order to boost study adherence and reduce dropout rates.

The authors reflected upon the various possibilities of AI in enhancing clinical trial success. It could identify and characterize patient subpopulations for specific drugs, measure biomarkers that can better highlight drug effectiveness or could contribute in correlating a wide range of different data sets (i.e. electronic health records, medical literature and trial databases).

Real-world boost is also considered: AI would make data access and control powerful and easier for patients; it could check their adherence to protocols in real time and indicate existing trials that are not widely known.

This field holds a great deal of promise for medicine and pharma; because of major AI applications are so far ahead of technology, it would be necessary to valuate data privacy, accessibility and security. In the meantime, important changes are already happening: large corporations, start-ups and governments are playing an active role in improving AI application in trial design.
“AI is not a magic bullet, and is very much a work in progress, yet it holds much promise for the future of healthcare and drug development” says lead author Stefan Harrer, a researcher at IBM Research-Australia.