Life Sciences refers to various fields of science studies that involve living beings. This includes plants, animals, microorganisms, and humans.
It’s our way to discover new things about the human body and how we can produce new drugs for specific diseases or find new techniques to cure a person.
For years, scientists have continued to develop and discover new things that can make things easier. One of the things they use is AI or artificial intelligence.
In this article, we’re going to explore how artificial intelligence influenced or changed life sciences:
AI-driven Drug Discovery
As you know, drug discovery research aims to identify drugs that will help treat or prevent certain diseases. Most of these drugs are small molecules that can bind to a pathogenic molecule or protein.
Researchers would have to look through books about molecules to find the one that can be developed into a drug. After that, they’d have to go through rounds of tests, refinement, and trials.
It’s a time-consuming process and can be very expensive. But, with artificial intelligence, they can make the process faster and might also do some automation. Here are some benefits of AI:
- Predict the properties of potential compounds, which saves time and money.
- Generate ideas on how an entirely new compound can be successful.
- Going through huge databases to get information.
- Analyzing thousands of histology images.
As microorganisms evolve, continuous discoveries are needed to counter this. Since AI is a versatile tool, scientists can use them in several drug development stages, especially in drug discovery.
Better Patient Diagnosis
As you may already know, if a patient gets diagnosed with cancer, there’s always this advice to get a second or third opinion. That’s because there’s a high chance that the doctor could be wrong. But with AI, patient diagnosis can be better.
Doctors are still humans, so mistakes are inevitable. But this can cause a huge burden to the patient’s family and the doctor. Using artificial intelligence can remove this burden. Plus, it will give the doctors more time to spend in taking care of a patient instead.
One particular promise is to use AI to interpret medical images from X-rays. It will use machine-learning to recognize similar findings and identify diseases at the earliest stage.
Reduce Cycle Times for Clinical Trials
Apart from drug discovery, artificial intelligence can reduce cycle times for clinical trials.
Clinical trials are a way to test if a discovered drug is effective. It usually involves four phases:
- Phase I for safety
- Phase II for effectiveness
- Phase III to gather more data about safety and efficacy
- Phase IV is continuous monitoring even after the FDA approves the drug
It’s a long process and may involve several repetitions before proceeding to the next phase. But with the use of AI and machine-based algorithms, human error can be reduced, data collection will become faster, and processes will be more streamlined.
Digital Nursing Assistants
Artificial intelligence can also be utilized as digital nursing assistants. With this, patients will be able to follow-up appointments online even without the doctor’s presence. Patients can inquire about their health, which the tool will have the capability to answer.
Other than this, AI machines also can make essential diagnoses based on the symptoms the patient said. And if some emergencies or problems need a doctor, the device will immediately call them.
Supply Chain Transformation
The manufacturing and supply chain are two sectors that can benefit from artificial intelligence.
Well, with AI, we can now build predictive algorithms to determine the change in demand behaviors. It can also help optimize inventories so that stocks will be replenished when needed, and there will be continuous supply.
In other words, AI can provide insights to predict supply disruptions.
Hence, giving you excellent visibility on what day-to-day operations look like. It can also recommend alternative actions in cases of unplanned or unpredicted disruptions.
AI also has potential in robotic surgery. You’ve probably never heard of this before, but it’s something that is gaining people’s interest.
According to Life Science expert Michelle Dipp, doctors will perform more complicated procedures better through enhanced precision, flexibility, and control. The robot is trained to be competent to help assist perform surgeries in the most accurate way possible.
Researchers also claim that this is more consistent than human performances, which can decline as years passed.
Producing Personalized Medicine
With AI, we now also have the potential to produce personalized medicine. Meaning, it can create a medicine plan that is customized based on what you need.
Instead of having almost the same treatments, the machine will look up your data and suggest the best treatment. Other than that, they can also adjust doses, revise therapeutic procedures, or offer a better alternative in case a disease mutates.
Another benefit of AI is its constant monitoring. This will be essential for patients with lifelong diseases and would need to be monitored continuously.
An example of this is continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). Traditionally, you would have to go to the hospital, have a doctor prick you, and wait for hours to get your glucose levels checked. But AI will be able to monitor your glucose levels every 5 minutes from a CGM unit.
In cases that your glucose amounts get low, the AI will automatically pump the right insulin dose to you based on their readings. Now, you wouldn’t have to worry about a thing.
It’s incredible how artificial intelligence is changing life sciences. What we found hard to do before is now made more accessible and faster. Soon, we can be experiencing discovering vaccines in just two months instead of it taking a year. There would also be fewer inaccurate diagnoses, faster test results, and better healthcare.