The impact of AI on clinical trials

Artificial intelligence has the potential to influenced many aspects of the clinical trial process and design. Right from selection, recruitment and patient monitoring to analysing real world data and scientific information in reaching predictive outcomes, AI has made significant breakthroughs in clinical trial operations.

Clinical trials processes have significant scope for improvement particularly through the application of AI as the space is prone to many challenges, some of which are flawed study design, not much success to demonstrate safety, participant drop-outs and unsuccessful recruitment. Let us take a look at some of the technologies that make use of AI and machine learning within the clinical trial process and their impacts on the future of the same.

  • Information engines – Vendors make use of NLP (Natural Language Processing) to enable analysis and decision form structured and unstructured data from medical records, relevant guidelines, real world data and other sources. They focus mainly in enhancing the quality, efficiency and ultimately success rate of clinical trials. Major players in this field are aiming to create improved clinical trial management software and AI especially for oncology trials.
  • Patient Stratification – The aim of clinical trials design is to get improved patient stratification. For this to be achieved, the focus has to be on the right individuals and track their drug responses so that prudent conclusions are drawn from the trial. AI has been used by several technologies to augment processes in this direction, some of which are biomarkers from speech, behaviour, machine learning based medical imaging, medical sequencing and genetic biomarkers.
  • Operations – AI has also found useful applications on the operational side of the clinical process, for instance to monitor treatment, response and adherence to clinical trials guidelines. Improved AI applications are also being developed to reduce patient dropout, manufacture synthetic control arms, accelerate the recruitment process and make it easier for patients to engage.


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