AI: The Key to Revolutionizing Medical Affairs?
The integration of AI in medical affairs signifies a transformative shift, enhancing efficiency in workflows, fostering personalized patient care, and necessitating a delicate balance between innovation and regulation
AI: The Key to Revolutionizing Medical Affairs?
The incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) into the landscape of medical affairs is poised to be a game-changer, promising significant transformations in industry workflows. This integration is expected to bring about efficiency and responsiveness, creating opportunities for advancements in patient outcomes and operational excellence.
Revolutionizing Workflows with AI in Medical Affairs
Discussing the future implications of AI in medical affairs, experts underline its potential to streamline processes, enabling more efficient work and reallocating resources to critical areas.
The significance of AI in handling the overwhelming volume of data within medical affairs becomes evident. According to Dipankar, AI's initial accomplishment lies in providing “a comprehensive view of all available data you have at hand”, something that is difficult to obtain in manual workflows. Attaining a comprehensive perspective across data sets becomes possible through AI, bolstering data management efficiency, an aspect that is essential for medical affairs.
Beyond internal data management, AI's application extends to external strategies. Natasha highlights an important development—the ongoing creation of an AI-powered literature review tool. She shares, "We're developing an AI-driven literature review tool to enhance the findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability of data." Considering that medical data doubles every 73 days, integrating an AI-driven tool becomes imperative. Such a tool, equipped to synthesize vast volumes of medical data, shows significant promise to revolutionize workflows within medical affairs.
Experts stress the collaborative role of AI in medical affairs, positioning it as a supportive system rather than a replacement. Natasha emphasizes, "Co-creation is important to understand, how could a tool like this support you, not replace you, support you in making your job easier and even more effective and more valuable.” This collaborative approach seeks to optimize and harmonize endeavors, recognizing the unique strengths that AI and human expertise bring to the forefront.
Targeted Communication and Personalization in Medical Affairs with AI
Shifting the focus to patient-centric outcomes, the conversation transitions to the potential of AI in targeted communication. Natasha reveals ongoing efforts to develop tools leveraging AI, the so called – Next-Best-Actions – for comprehensive data analysis, paving the way for personalized approaches. “What we have created is a channel preference [tool] based on the historical article data that the MSLs and teams utilize, so before they go to the healthcare professional, they know which channel suits this person the best. We have the Next-Best-Action tool through which they can decide what is the next best action.”
The dialogue extends to AI's role in medical education, with insights into how AI identifies knowledge gaps. Dipankar shares, "We are using AI to identify knowledge gaps and then feeding that into creating the medical education programs." This capability enables pharmaceutical companies to craft targeted medical education programs, promptly addressing gaps in clinical practice with relevant content and assets.
Building Regulatory Safeguards and Ensuring Responsible AI Adoption
Recognizing the challenges and concerns surrounding AI in medical affairs, the conversation shifts to the imperative of building regulatory safeguards and ensuring responsible AI adoption. Insights shared during the webinar underscore the critical importance of addressing data security and regulatory compliance.
Collaboration takes center stage as a fundamental need in navigating the integration of AI into medical affairs. Natasha states, "I think the most important thing we can do is really work together because we all sit here in different pharma companies, but we have the same problem." Despite hailing from different pharma companies, experts stress the shared responsibility among pharmaceutical companies to collectively address challenges in AI integration.
A nuanced perspective is added, focusing on the importance of data privacy in a regulated industry. Neeraj emphasizes, "Because we work in a regulated industry, we need to be careful. Any sensitive data, of course, we do not put in the public domain, particularly on patients and anything sensitive at all." The cautious handling of sensitive data, particularly concerning patients, reinforces the need for responsible AI practices in the medical affairs landscape.
Injecting a realistic perspective into the discussion, there is acknowledgment of the perpetual challenge of risk in AI integration. John notes, "I don't think you'll ever de-risk. The risk is always there. It's about how you mitigate the risk and how you account for it." Experts emphasize the ongoing nature of risk management, underscoring the need for continuous evaluation and mitigation strategies.
As the industry envisions a future where AI is not merely a technological enhancement but a strategic imperative, the collaborative synergy between AI and human expertise emerges as a key driver. The collective responsibility of pharmaceutical companies to address data security and compliance challenges remains paramount. The dynamic integration of AI in medical affairs calls for a nuanced balance between innovation and regulation, aiming to enhance the overall impact on healthcare ecosystems.
Experts that contributed.
- Neeraj Goel Mittal, Global Head of Data, Analytics & AI (ViiV Healthcare), Senior Director, GSK
- John Wahba, Senior Director, Global Medical Affairs, Gilead & Kite Oncology
- Natasha Hansjee, Innovation Catalyst, Roche
- Dipanwita Das, CEO, Sorcero
- Kishan Rees, Senior Director Cardiovascular & Digital Global Medical Affairs, Bayer
To watch the whole webinar, click here.