Want Reliable Advice? Consider Machines

Posted by Arun Shastri on Mon, Jun 17, 2019

An old story about Jeff Bezos that I read years ago resurfaced in my memory when I learned that Amazon just abruptly changed course and decided to shutter its restaurant delivery business. According to the teller of this tale, Bezos once visited Basecamp to give a talk and take questions from employees there. At one point, Bezos described the kind of people who are “right a lot.” The smartest people, he said, are always revising their thinking. They might think one thing today that they’ll readily contradict tomorrow because they have new data to support a new opinion.

Other luminaries have shared this opinion. Science fiction author Vernor Vinge, in his book Fire Upon the Deep, wrote “Intelligence is the handmaiden of flexibility and change.” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was quoted as saying, “You must always be able to predict what's next and then have the flexibility to evolve.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this line of reasoning, and I see direct connections to machine learning.


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Has AI Reached Peak Hype?

Posted by Arun Shastri on Wed, May 08, 2019

Pratap Khedkar co-wrote this blog post with Arun Shastri.

At The Wall Street Journal Health Forum, held in Washington D.C. on April 30, Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan called artificial intelligence “another tool in the toolbox.” This viewpoint diverges from recent notions that AI is a critical capability that’s going to change the way that pharma companies do business. In fact, industry experts have hoped that the dwindling return on investments for R&D (the current 3% ROI is predicted to hit 0% by 2020) could be reversed by employing AI-based technologies in drug discovery. There are more than 100 AI startups in this field that have received generous investments from venture capital. Yet, IBM has discontinued sales of its Watson AI system for drug discovery.


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Advancements in Data Science and Big Data Technologies Will Change the Way Clinical Decisions Are Made Today

Posted by Venkat Sethuraman on Wed, Apr 03, 2019

Venkat Sethuraman co-wrote this post with Jessica Rine, Sharma R D and Francine Leech

The 10th-annual Summit for Clinical Operations Executives (SCOPE) took place Feb. 18-21 in Orlando, and it drew more than 3,000 participants from life sciences companies around the world. The conference covered advanced and innovative solutions in clinical trial planning, management and operations.

While the attendees represented different functional areas within clinical operations, they were united around a common question: How can data be used to bring value, provide actionable insights and enhance the clinical trial process?


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How Cloud Tech Has Leveled the Pharma Field

Posted by Kapil Nayyar on Thu, Aug 23, 2018

A new business entering the competitive pharmaceuticals market faces a steep climb, so any innovation capable of creating a handhold is highly valuable. The evolution of cloud computing technology over the past decade has been a particularly favorable development for startups, offering them essential resources and capabilities that might otherwise be cost prohibitive. At a high level, cloud tech encompasses several benefits:


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New ZS Research on Forecasting in an Evolving Landscape

Posted by Ram Ramakrishnan on Mon, Jul 09, 2018

This post is the second in a four-part series on how pharmaceutical companies can elevate their forecasting operations.

The pharmaceutical industry is facing an increasingly challenging environment with looming biosimilar launches, tighter access and pricing controls, and saturation within primary care markets. Forecasting as a functional area is affected by these changes, given the range of decisions that forecasts inform.


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