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Five Applications of Machine Learning in the Pharma Industry

Five Applications of Machine Learning in the Pharma Industry

Machine learning seamlessly is integrating with other industries right before our eyes. Like with so many so many other industries, more data means greater effectiveness in the pharma industry. A McKinsey report estimates that machine learning and big data could generate a combined business value of $100B annually. The value optimization involves optimal innovation, better decision making, greater efficiency for clinical/research trials, and additional tool creation for medical professionals.

What is the source of so much data? Regular streams like research and development, clinics, physicians, patients, and caregivers do their bit. The disparate origin points of data sets form a large part of the problem when we talk of synchronizing all the data and improving the healthcare industry as a whole. The core of the problem is to find ways to effectively collect different types of data sets for better treatment, analysis, and ultimately treatment.  

Today, the applications of Machine Learning are sprouting in manifold ways. All these applications give us a glimpse of a future where the analysis and synchronization of data is already a reality. Here’s a collection of some of the most important applications of machine learning in the pharma industry.

1. Behavioral Modification

With machine learning, personalized medication will soon be a reality. Such treatment is based on individual health data along with a decent dose of predictive analysis. In fact, this is one of the most hotly worked on topics on machine learning and behavioral modification.

At the moment, this area is dominated largely by a combination of genetic information and supervised learning. This basically allows physicians to choose from a set of diagnoses. The next decade is crucial for health optimization with the help of machine learning. Micr biosensors will see a further rise in the application and there will be a similar rise in use remote monitoring capabilities.

A gamut of startups is emerging in fields like cancer identification and treatment. While the success of these innovations is still far from desirable, there is a good chance of a significant breakthrough in the coming decade.

2. Research and Clinical Trial

Machine learning has already tasted decent success in shaping direct research and clinical trial. The application of predictive analytics in identifying candidates for clinical trials could see a lot of additional data pouring in compared to the volume of data we see today. Clubbed with genetic information, this will help in quicker and more cost-effective trials in the coming days.

The application of Machine Learning also spans over access to real-time data for heightened safety. One critical area is the monitoring of biological signals for any visible sign of harm or fatality. McKinsey suggests that there is a whole lot of other applications that help in augmenting the efficiency of a clinical trial. This includes the discovery of the best sample sizes for greater efficiency.   

3. Drug Manufacturing

ML has tremendous scope in the early stages of drug discovery. The application starts at the initial screening of compounds and moves over to the predicted success rate based on a number of biological factors. We are also looking at discovery technologies in R&D like next-generation sequencing.

Precision medicine, a genre that involves mechanism identification for multifactorial diseases, is the frontrunner in this race. Since a lot of this research is based on unsupervised learning, the game revolves around identifying data patterns without the use of prediction of any kind.  

4. Identification and Diagnosis of Disease

Most of the present efforts in Machine Learning research for the pharma industry is geared toward disease identification. In a 2015 report released by the PRMA, the number of cancer medicine and vaccines in trial went over 800. The larger challenge, however, is to make justified use of all the data that comes out as a result of these studies.

It is here that the need for biologists working with information scientists and machine learning experts will become extremely vital. It doesn’t come as a surprise that the bigger players were the first to jump on the bandwagon. IBM Watson Genomics came into existence in 2016. It partnered with Quest Diagnostics to take rapid strides in precision medicine.   

5. Epidemic Control

At present, AI and ML technologies are also being used to monitor and foretell epidemics around the world. The predictions are based on satellite data, real-time updates on the social media as well as other sources. Scientists have already made use of artificial neural networks and support vector machines to predict outbreaks of malaria. The analysis took into account factors like average monthly rainfall, temperature, data points, and the number of positive cases.

The prediction of outbreaks (and their severity) becomes even more important in third-world countries where epidemics claim lives in the hundreds. This also alerts governments to implement prevention protocols and if needed quick treatment measures, too.

Futran Solutions works with a talented pool of resources that are ML experts in the pharma industry. Call us today to know how we can help you with project implementation and digital consulting in machine learning.

Jyoti Vazirani is the co-founder of Futran Solutions. She is a certified SAFe Agile coach and an out and out machine learning enthusiast.

Pharma Marketing Trends 2019: The What, Where & How

Pharma Marketing Trends 2019: The What, Where & How

Pharma marketing has gone full circle in the last decade – high-end management systems, responsive UIs, crunch data accuracy, eDetailing and a lot more are now an integral part of the system. You would think that’s just about how far we can go with pharma marketing. However, a lot is at stake with regards to how the pharma industry shapes its marketing efforts in 2019. The upcoming year is set to witness new breakthroughs and trends. Here’s a collection of the most striking trends that will grip pharma marketing through 2019.

Strategic multichannel approach

All digital communications are traveling at breakneck speed. More and more customers want to control their digital experience with authority. With every evolving technology, the general expectation to respond to concerns of the average customer is soaring higher by the day. Every second online shopper in the U.S. sees no reason why their healthcare service should not be as good as Amazon.

One group of professionals that understands this phenomenon better than most is the physician community. Physicians have long adopted a patient-centric mechanism for their practice. By default, the healthcare and pharma industries are trying to keep up with them. It was years ago that physicians started embracing the internet. Now, they aren’t an emerging group of individuals anymore. Almost every professional physician now goes online anywhere between five and ten times a month for professional purposes.

In the coming years, the use of multi-channel online resources will break all benchmarks we’ve ever built. This approach is also slowly creeping into relationships among healthcare professionals and other medics. The internet allows us to receive all kinds of product information and medical updates at the snap of our fingers. As a consequence, we now have even more relevant digital solutions that pharma can dive into – e-sampling, live video, and even interactive detailing. To wit, it’s extremely difficult to find a med rep with some formidability of reputation that does not have an interactive presentation on their tablets.

Big tech powered by mobile

In the past few years, truckloads of small and large pharma companies have made a greater shift toward mobile technology. This actually not sound clinically normal, most doctors can now access medical information on their mobile phones through the day. That means they can sift through easy works with the help of smart technology and focus their energies on more complicated tasks. And that’s just one end of a spectrum of huge changes that are evolving through the pharma industry.

What lies ahead of us is next generation reality with a dense of bleeding-edge, futuristic devices. Richer customer experiences are going to be fuelled by superior pharma services made available online.

Plenty of AI and ML

The pharma industry is one of the chief beneficiaries of the trinity of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data.  Physicians are now on the hunt for advanced datasets (both in terms of volume and complexity) that come with additional interactivities in real time.

The crux of this change is reflected in the manner of data collection and representation. All efforts are now geared toward creating a database that is both constantly updated and authentic. Pharma marketers and in 2019 will face the challenge of making this a priority in their marketing efforts. The fine mix of content with artificial intelligence will hold the key to the higher strata of pharma marketing.

We already have plenty of potential examples of on how automation and machine learning can influence the future of pharma. Right from saving costs to tracking and controlling patient journeys, machine functions are now optimized to the point where they barely need any human touch.

Improved data preferences

Individual data preferences powered by machine automation and AI will make sure customers get the necessary information faster than anytime in the past. While automation chews up a bulk of these grunt tasks, marketers should remember the values they have adhered to all these years. For better or worse, chatbots are not replacements for empathy and humanity. It takes a human to realize what people expect from the technological advancements in life sciences. If at all anything, technologies can help us better understand problems being faced by others, making us more empathetic in the process.

Every automated algorithm and the new technological process runs with people at their core. We cannot simply shoot out a mix of machine learning and artificial intelligence a silver bullet for every challenge. At the convergence of processes, technologies, and data lies the strategic thinking and mindset of humans.

New perspective of social media networks

If they haven’t discarded old marketing beliefs already, now (minus a few years) is the best time for pharma companies. Content marketing and social media promotion are no longer luxuries in marketing. Every week and month, pharma companies are uncovering new strategies to connect with their potential customers on social media. Pharma can reach specific audience types around the world an deliver them resourceful content on a range of subjects. Informed patients have the choice to conduct medical research on whichever platform they choose.

Patients can now choose to conduct their own medical research at a place and platform of their choice. Most people are known to trust things they read on the internet irrespective of the scientific validity of the fact. What we really need is a high degree of regulation on social media. The current FDA regulations place multiple restrictions to prevent shallow conversations on pharma. Even then, much of the information flowing around is largely inaccurate.

The challenge will be to develop the brand on the social media while adhering to regulatory requirements. With the help of adequate analytics, companies can provide their customers with highly relevant pieces of information. Making full use of regulated networks is the only chance pharma companies have to stay relevant with their digital marketing.

IoT in pharma marketing

IoT is transforming and revolutionizing the pharma marketing sector as we speak. Small gadgets are helping the processing of lots of information packets on a daily basis. The latest medical technologies have already hugely impacted life sciences and healthcare. An increasing number of stakeholders and analysts are now talking about how the pharma industry will shape up to the changes brought by edge computing.

“Software as a service” (Saas) is a quick solution by pharma companies. It allows access for all required services by devices from multiple locations. Insights Pharma Reports indicates that about one in two pharma manufacturers uses some form of cloud-based infrastructure or are contemplating over it.

The omnichannel approach

From what we have seen so far, the future of pharma marketing rests in active collaboration with available digital technologies. Notwithstanding how far ahead we go in that direction, devices and machines are not here to supplement human intelligence.

Like every other industry we see around us, the pharma industry is becoming more and more open to use multiple channels of marketing. New software advancements are of immense help in increasing revenue and boosting customer experience.

Futran Solutions specializes in delivering composite pharma solutions and resources. As pharma marketing is evolving, so are the resources that shoulder the needs of the industries. Speak to a Futran pharma resource specialist today to find out how we help you achieve your business and marketing objectives.