By: Brian Kradjel RIG Intern Researcher

 

Artificial Intelligence and Patient Care

Artificial intelligence and SaaS technology have made immeasurable impacts on the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry has long been unreceptive to technological change, but in the past several years has embraced this change and been shifted by AI and SaaS technologies.

In particular, machine learning has transformed clinical decision support (CDS) tools. CDS technology has the ability to analyze large volumes of data and suggest next steps for treatment[1]. This technology has come to the forefront as datasets and training methods improve and has resulted in better patient outcomes, as physicians have more tools to help determine the best response to a patient’s illness. It has also been supplemented by numerous medical device technologies designed to monitor patient health.

Where AI can potentially have a significant impact is in disease detection. Deep learning models have been found to improve the detection of lung cancer, among other diseases[2]. The ability of machine learning models to quickly flag the potential for diseases will vastly improve patient outcomes.

It’s clear that AI will have a major role in the future of patient care, and it is just now coming to the forefront as the fourth industrial revolution takes hold.

[1] “Clinical Decision Support.” HealthIT.gov, 10 Apr. 2018, www.healthit.gov/topic/safety/clinical-decision-support.

[2] Svoboda, Elizabeth. “Artificial Intelligence Is Improving the Detection of Lung Cancer.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 18 Nov. 2020, www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03157-9.

 

Artificial Intelligence and Drug Discovery

Artificial intelligence is also seen as a key player in the future of drug discovery. It is a critical tool in predicting properties, designing molecules, optimizing synthetic routes, and has thus been utilized in recent drug discovery operations. For instance, this past year, German biotechnology company Evotec announced a phase 1 clinical trial on a new anticancer molecule[1]. The candidate was created in partnership with Exscientia, a company that applies artificial intelligence techniques to small-molecule drug discovery.

There has recently been significant financing activity in this space – most notably, AbCerella’s $556mm IPO and Recursion’s $436mm IPO. This is the largest and perhaps the most impactful area of AI-driven health[2]. The 2020 IPO boom and significant M&A activity in this space highlights that this technology is emerging and will have a large impact on the drug discovery industry.

The infographic below highlights that AI could curb drug discovery costs by up to 70%, creating a market where essential medications are much cheaper to consumers, and biopharma companies are able to expand research and development even further. AI is clearly well equipped to rapidly speed up advancements in medicine.

[1] “Evotec and Exscientia Announce Start of Human Clinical Trials of Novel Immuno-Oncology Drug.” Evotec, www.evotec.com/en/invest/news–announcements/p/evotec-and-exscientia-announce-start-of-human-clinical-trials-of-novel-immuno-oncology-drug-6045.

[2] Savage, Neil. “Tapping into the Drug Discovery Potential of Ai.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 27 May 2021, www.nature.com/articles/d43747-021-00045-7.

 

AI and Health Insurance

Artificial Intelligence has had major influence in all areas of health, including insurance aspects. Startup companies such as Accolade seeks to deliver a personalized healthcare experience by leveraging AI to help insurers serve customers[1]. Accolade’s position here asserts that current health insurance markets cater to the sickest 5% of its customer population, but through their AI driven software, Accolade can deliver value to a larger customer base.

It is anticipated that AI will have three essential roles in health insurance: (1) to provide greater data accuracy, (2) to offer deeper customization, and (3) to provide stringent fraud protection. Greater data accuracy will allow for more customizable pricing, which will be attractive to insurance providers as well as consumers. Deeper customization will equip consumers with a deeper picture of their health and healthcare costs. Finally, AI will be critical in fraud prevention and preventing data theft. Technologies like RIG’s Dynamic Trust software will allow for this kind of modernization to help mitigate threats and the risk of fraud.

[1] Desmond, John. “Can Ai Make Your Health Insurance Better? Accolade Thinks So.” AI Trends, 24 Oct. 2017, www.aitrends.com/healthcare/can-ai-make-health-insurance-better/.

 

Conclusion

Artificial intelligence is beginning to make a massive impact in all facets of health care, whether for providers, patients, or insurers. Its influence stretches to all ends of health care – from drug discovery to treatment to insurance plans. The shift towards the use of AI in health care has been rapid and accelerated by COVID. As AI becomes more and more integrated into the industry, it is critical that this happens safely and properly, and artificial intelligence integration solution providers such as RIG will have a large role to play.