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Revolutionizing Healthcare: The Impressive Emergence of Artificial Intelligence in Medical Applications

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Analysts Notebook wrote a column · Nov 14, 2023 03:01
The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is transforming the medical industry by improving research, diagnoses, and treatment outcomes, and even drug discovery.
Let's take a look at a few of the different types of artificial intelligence and healthcare industry benefits that can be derived from their use.
The Competition to Discover the First Drug with AI
Insilico Medicine, a Hong Kong and New York-based company, has used artificial intelligence to develop a drug for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable lung disease. The drug is currently in mid-stage trials in the US and China, with results expected in early 2025. As the first fully AI-based preclinical candidate, the success of this therapy is being closely watched by the pharmaceutical industry. While there is no clear evidence that AI can generate life-saving therapies, any success could mean more affordable and efficient AI therapies that cut costs for health systems and save lives. However, other molecules that relied on AI have faced setbacks, and there is still a possibility of failure or delay for Insilico's drug.
Alex, founder of Insilico, and the company's AI-run robotic laboratory; Source: Bloomberg
Alex, founder of Insilico, and the company's AI-run robotic laboratory; Source: Bloomberg
Insilico stands out because it has a new target identified using AI, a molecule discovered using AI and has made it through to mid-stage clinical trials," founder and CEO Alex Zhavoronkov said. If the company's lung disease drug is successfully developed, that would change everything."
The field of AI became hot in the health-care industry after Google parent $Alphabet-A(GOOGL.US)$'s DeepMind unit used an AI program called AlphaFold to beat a biologist at predicting the shape of proteins, the basic building block of diseases. The intention is to use AI to make it cheaper and faster to find new drugs by eliminating much of the guesswork and hundreds of lab experiments typically required to identify promising molecules.
Beyond the start-up world, even large drugmakers like $Pfizer(PFE.US)$, $GlaxoSmithKline(GSK.US)$ and $Takeda Pharmaceutical(TAK.US)$ are now tapping AI. $Morgan Stanley(MS.US)$ has estimated that over the next decade, the use of AI in early-stage drug development could translate into an additional 50 novel therapies worth more than $50 billion in sales.
Big Pharma's AI Solution for Diverse Clinical Trials
$Johnson & Johnson(JNJ.US)$ has used artificial intelligence to improve the low participation rate of Black Americans in clinical trials for multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer that is twice as likely to affect Black Americans compared to White Americans. The participation rate of Black Americans in these clinical trials stands at 4.8%, which J&J has increased using AI. Algorithms helped J&J pinpoint community centers where Black patients with this cancer might seek treatment.
J&J is now using AI to increase diversity in 50 trials and plans to take that number to 100 next year," says Najat Khan, chief data science officer of its pharmaceutical unit. "One skin disease study that used cellphone snapshots and e-consent forms to enable patients to participate in the trial remotely managed to raise enrollment of people of color to about 50%".
The FDA is considering drafting recommendations for companies that are submitting AI applications for drug development to ensure their models don’t inadvertently discriminate against underserved patients.
Elon Musk's Brain Implant Startup Set for Surgery
Neuralink has FDA clearance to start messing with people's heads — an ideal candidate would be an adult under age 40 whose four limbs are paralyzed. Such a patient would likely have Neuralink's implant inserted into what's known as the hand knob area of their premotor cortex, which governs the hands, wrists and forearms. The goal is to show that the device can safely collect useful data from that part of the patient's brain, a key step in Neuralink's efforts to convert a person's thoughts into a range of commands a computer can understand.
Musk co-founded Neuralink in 2016 with seven scientists and $100 million of his own money. Neuralink has since raised more than $500 million, including $280 million this year, and the attention has helped draw investors to other brain-computer interface efforts, including long-standing university projects as well as newer startups.
Neuralink's dozen or so robots performed 155 of these surgeries on sheep, pigs and monkeys in 2021 and 294 last year. With human subjects, the surgical prep and craniectomy are expected to take a couple of hours, followed by about 25 minutes for the actual implantation.
The last two years have been all about focus on building a human-ready product," Seo, a Neuralink co-founder and vice president for engineering, says, "It's time to help an actual human being."
Source: Bloomberg, Foresee Medical
Disclaimer: Moomoo Technologies Inc. is providing this content for information and educational use only. Read more
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