Has artificial intelligence in health already revolutionized clinical research?


The fourth edition of the Pharma HealthTech event, organized by Pharmaceuticals and TechToMed, was devoted on September 21 to artificial intelligence. During several round tables, the guests detailed its potential, recalling that it remains to find the business model that will make it possible to build an efficient and competitive economic strategy for data.

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A subject of science fiction 20 years ago, artificial intelligence is now a reality in the world of health. As proof, four operators using this technology detailed the results in terms of quality and efficiency, during a round table moderated by Hervé Réquillart, editorial director of Pharmaceuticals.

Alban Arrault, director of the Data and Artificial Intelligence program at Servier, explained that the group’s teams have been working for ten years on the subjects of algorithms and data science as an aid to the development of the drugs of the future. For him, AI makes it possible, among other things, to define whether the molecules studied could be industrialized. However, he assured, “AI will not replace the researcher: it is an assistant to improve the quality of the product”.

In terms of imaging or patient journey, “AI has clear potential”confirmed François-Henri Boissel, co-founder & CEO of Novadiscovery, which built the first clinical trial simulation platform called “Jinkō”, to predict drug efficacy and optimize clinical trial development. However,“it is confronted with impassable limits”, did he declare. Among these limitations, the fact that “what is contained in the databases is only a photo at time t of a patient; AI models cannot capture dynamics over time because past data is not always an indicator of what is to come”.

“Let’s remain humble before naturecontinued Amaury Martin, Deputy Director of the Curie Institute and Director of Carnot Curie Cancer. We are currently in algorithmic medicine, but not yet in artificial intelligence, with models that evolve over time. » And to cite the example of Covid-19, where the various mutations were impossible to predict.

The various speakers discussed the financial aspects of this technical revolution. Ayala Bliah, CEO of Sivan Innovation, recalled that “artificial intelligence is not covered by health insurance”. To be reimbursed, it is indeed necessary that the algorithm tested in a clinical study remains fixed. “However, if you have to freeze the algorithms, it’s not AI”she said.

Sivan Innovation has developed Moovcare, a digital therapy device indicated for monitoring patients with lung cancer. This is the first digital therapy solution reimbursed by Health Insurance, up to 1,000 euros per semester and per patient, she recalled. While remote monitoring devices should enter common law in July 2023,(1) “there is still a lot of vagueness” on the economic model of these solutions, regretted Ayala Bliah. The price of 600 euros per year and per patient would be mentioned. But, she concluded, “if the proposed tariffs are not up to par, there will be a problem, because the authorities require a lot of clinical evidence, which is a lot of time and money” to develop a solution.

(1) https://www.dsih.fr/article/4840/l-entree-de-la-telesurveillance-dans-le-droit-commun-reportee-a-juillet-2023.html


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Has artificial intelligence in health already revolutionized clinical research?

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