Pharma’s Latent Embrace of AI and Machine Learning

With the medtech sector having heartily integrated AI and machine learning into its products and processes, the pharmaceutical industry can no longer watch from the sidelines as these technologies become the crux of the best-selling healthcare wares. Speaking to this, a report from citing GlobalData Healthcare data found that roughly 100 partnerships have been struck up between pharma companies and AI vendors in the past few years.

And some of the biggest players in the pharma space are jumping into the game. Merck is planning to launch its own Merck Digital Sciences Studio (MDSS)—put together in a collaboration with the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII)—seeking to provide assistance to early-stage biomedical startups through direct investment as well as access to Azure Cloud computing. There are also opportunities down the road for those startups to pilot their tech in tandem with Merck’s team of discovery and clinical professionals. The introductory MDSS cohort is accepting applications for a dozen open spots, with priority consideration for projects frontlining AI and ML.

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Following up on a 2019 licensing agreement with One Drop that was its first foray into AI, Bayer is edging further into the space as well; its Calantic Digital Solutions medical imaging platform leverages access to numerous advanced digital applications, many of which are AI-enabled programs. The Germany-based company’s new platform hosts a suite of apps meant to support matters such as lesion detection, patient management, and radiology workload streamlining.