Pharma 2024

Apr 16, 2024 - Apr 18, 2024, CCIB, Barcelona

Transform Pharma. Reinvent Healthcare. Unlock Access.

Artificial Intelligence in Practice – How Medical Affairs Can Leverage AI Today 

AI is transforming Medical Affairs by analyzing data and generating insights. We gathered experts to discuss its applications in the field.

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the adoption of cutting-edge technologies has become instrumental in shaping the future of medical affairs. Among these transformative technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands out as a powerful tool that is revolutionizing the field. With its ability to analyze vast amounts of data, identify patterns and generate valuable insights, AI is increasingly gaining prominence in medical affairs. We brought together a panel of industry experts to discuss how they are applying AI to their medical affairs strategies.  

The panelists emphasized the significant potential of AI in efficiently developing targeted medical content. Akarsh Sakalaspur from HCG highlighted how their audiences consistently express a demand for more personalized content and communications, tailored to their preferences and formats.  

Sanofi’s Jennifer Villagarcia envisioned a compelling scenario where AI could analyze clinicians' diaries to identify patient characteristics. This data could then be utilized to deliver content that precisely meets the patient's specific needs and interests at that particular moment, showcasing AI's ability to optimize engagement and communication effectively. 

However, the panel acknowledged the need to avoid overwhelming HCPs with an excessive amount of content. Striking a balance in information dissemination is crucial to ensure HCPs receive the right amount of relevant information at the right time without feeling overwhelmed. 

UCB’s Pascal Vande Gucht mentioned that they are using AI to identify medical experts and rising stars in specific disease areas, as well as community leaders, facilitating improved communication and collaboration within the medical community. 

The use of AI to analyze changes in patient behavior based on claims data was also highlighted by Vande Gucht. By leveraging AI and analyzing such data, medical affairs professionals gain valuable insights into how patients respond to treatments and how their behaviors evolve over time, which is essential in shaping clinical practices. 

Natural language processing (NLP) emerged as a type of AI that is being used to facilitate insights capability. By employing NLP models, medical affairs professionals can analyze vast amounts of unstructured data, gaining deeper insights and enhancing decision-making processes, such as determining the next best action based on customer segmentation and interests. 

The adoption of AI in medical affairs also comes with the need to find suitable partners and vendors. As HCG’s Rayman Vaid said, "there's so much in terms of what's happening within the AI space that it's difficult for most companies to try and keep abreast of everything”, so finding a partner that has a solution aligned to business objectives “is going to probably get you at the end point a lot faster than if you're trying to basically build things out yourself", he added.  

Regarding the decision to develop AI competencies in-house or opt for off-the-shelf solutions, Villagarcia suggested considering the specific application's uniqueness. If the application demands tailored solutions for proprietary data, developing competencies in-house might be advantageous. However, for more generic tasks and processes, off-the-shelf solutions and external vendors can offer cost efficiencies. 

To learn more about what experts are saying about the application of AI in medical affairs access the full recording of the webinar here. Delve deeper into insights regarding compliance issues and the crucial need to establish trust in AI-generated content, transforming AI into a trusted and reliable partner. 

Experts that contributed:  

  • Youseff Idelcaid, Sr. Director, Head of Data Science – Commercial, Medical Affairs & Government Affairs, Genentech  
  • Jan-Willem van Doorn, Chief Transformation Officer, Healthcare Consultancy Group (HCG)
  • Jennifer Villagarcia, Global Medical Engagement Strategy and Content Lead, Sanofi 
  • Pascal Vande Gucht, Medical Affairs Transformation Lead, UCB  
  • Rayman Vaid, VP, Senior Director Digital Technology, HCG 


  • Akarsh Sakalaspur, EVP, Head of Digital, HCG 
  • Nicole Parker, SVP, Scientific Services, HCG 

Pharma 2024

Apr 16, 2024 - Apr 18, 2024, CCIB, Barcelona

Transform Pharma. Reinvent Healthcare. Unlock Access.