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Healthcare Organizations, Including Major Pharmas, Band Together to Form AI-focused Group

Posted on June 26th, 2019 by in Pharma R&D

Artificial intelligence continues to gain momentum across industries as people start to better realize its potential benefits. Healthcare is no exception, as industry players understand that AI and machine learning can do much to improve patient treatment and care. Now, some in this sector want to do more to address the burgeoning challenges of AI head-on.

The Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (AAIH), was first formed last year with early meetings at Boston Biotech Week and Basel Life Congress, and just formally launched following the first meeting of its Board of Directors at Amazon Web Services (AWS) in San Francisco. The coalition of pharmaceutical players, technology developers and research organizations aim to work together to pursue the establishment of responsible and reasonable standards for the development and implementation of AI in healthcare.

AWS, Bayer, BlackThorn Therapeutics, GE Healthcare, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Numerate, SimplicityBio and the University of Pittsburgh are just a few of AAIH’s founding organizations (see the full list). At the inaugural board meeting, John Baldoni, former senior VP at GSK, was elected chairman; Brandon Allgood, co-founder and CTO of Numerate, elected vice chairman; Angeli Moeller, co-lead of AI and head of IT Business Partnering Research at Bayer, elected treasurer; and Naheed Kurji, president and CEO of Cyclica, elected secretary.

Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of AAIH member Insilico Medicine, says “If we are to build upon our recent industry success, and realize the true potential of AI, it is crucial that the sector organize immediately to enact policies and practices that will enable efficient adoption, integration, and commercialization.” And that is exactly what the organization plans to do.

Looking ahead, the Board is eager to create initiatives to educate the public about AI, promote investment in AI R&D and work with governments in the US, EU and beyond on regulatory standards. AAIH hopes its efforts will ultimately result in solutions that reduce failure rates and costs while improving quality in all areas of healthcare, from biomedical discovery through clinical research and into applications.

As noted on its website, AAIH has identified a few key steps that it believes the industry and policy leaders must take to unleash the full potential of AI:

* Distinguish between hype and reality, set achievable expectations
* Engage in educational outreach to unify industry voice, define AI in public arenas
* Advocate for informed policy and appropriate regulatory standards
* Unify the industry around key priorities, identify bottlenecks, and develop strategic industry-wide approaches for resolution

There are many practical and technological challenges to successfully using AI in drug development and across the healthcare spectrum, including the need for reliable data and greater technical advances. But issues around regulation and industry cooperation will also become extremely important as AI technology becomes more prevalent, and that’s where AAIH is getting a good headstart by bringing stakeholders together with a common purpose.

If your company wants to inquire about membership in AAIH, click here.

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