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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Assessing MSL Effectiveness: A Three-Pronged Strategy

Posted by Sunil John on Mon, Feb 04, 2019

As most of us in pharma know, the medical science liaison (MSL) role is purely scientific, educational and non-promotional, making it difficult for medical and company leadership to assess its performance. Compared to the sales function, companies continue to struggle with developing an assessment plan that can accurately benchmark MSL performance. Many organizations that we have worked with also face challenges in articulating the value of this critical role, and their assessments are qualitative rather than quantitative and results-driven.


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How the Right RWE Platform Serves Up the Ingredients for Innovation

Posted by ZS Editors on Tue, Sep 04, 2018

Many pharmaceutical companies have realized the benefits of moving from standalone real-world data (RWD) projects to full-fledged, cross-functional real-world evidence (RWE) capabilities to drive everything from their R&D programs to their commercial teams’ efforts to demonstrate value—and technology is central to their success. “Real-world evidence is essentially extracting intelligence out of real-world data, and now that we have the right technology, scalable cloud storage and tremendous processing power, we’re actually able to sift through big data to find those insights,” says Abhay Jha, a principal at ZS and the business technology lead in the firm’s R&D excellence practice.  


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Is AI in Pharma Ready to Move From Hype to Hope?

Posted by Pratap Khedkar on Thu, Jan 11, 2018

This is the first post in a three-part series on artificial intelligence in healthcare. 

We encounter artificial intelligence platforms outside of healthcare on a regular basis, like when we ask Siri a question or view Netflix’s list of suggested films. However, within healthcare, and in the pharmaceutical industry specifically, AI has yet to live up to that level of success. In the near future, will AI become embedded in pharma R&D? Will it enable treatment decisions to be more automated—and more accurate? I recently called my colleague John Piccone, a ZS principal and advanced data science expert who previously led IBM Watson Health’s life sciences offerings, to discuss AI’s use both within pharma and throughout the healthcare ecosystem.


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How Technology and Analytics Are Helping Big Pharma Improve Patient Engagement in R&D

Posted by Kristyn Feldman on Wed, Nov 01, 2017

Lisa Bance co-wrote this blog post with Kristyn Feldman.

This is the third post in a four-part series examining patient centricity within R&D.

As drug development continues to grow more expensive and complex, and as patients expect to be more involved and empowered throughout the healthcare system, pharmaceutical companies are seeing the value in partnering with patients throughout the R&D process. The journey begins with building an understanding of and empathy for today’s patients, and then uncovering and meeting their needs. The third step is to hone in on how you connect with patients to increase the effectiveness of your communications.


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