Today, the life sciences industry is at a critical inflection point. Its public profile has elevated due to its success at quickly developing vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also built up a lot of trust. Despite the persistent issue of vaccine hesitancy, health — including life sciences — rose up in the rankings to become the second most trusted sector after technology, according to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer.
While the life sciences industry rightly has the approval and trust of its stakeholders — including heath companies, insurers, clinicians, and patients — such approbation gives rise to an important challenge going forward. This challenge is meeting those stakeholders’ ever-rising expectations.
The rapid development and mass deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, including the pioneering mRNA vaccines, highlighted to stakeholders what the industry is capable of achieving. At the same time, new technological advances are opening up the possibility of the life sciences industry making other breakthroughs that will transform the health experiences of patients, while potentially saving millions of lives.
Artificial intelligence- and machine learning-enabled transformation
With the maturation and advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), it is set to have a measurable impact on the life sciences industry. AI is enabled by complex algorithms that are designed to make decisions and solve problems. In combination with machine learning (ML) and natural language processing, which make it possible for the algorithms to learn from experiences, AI and ML will help life sciences companies develop treatments faster and more efficiently in the future, reducing the costs of health care, while making it more accessible to patients.
We already know that AI and ML have the potential to transform the following processes in life sciences: