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More than a One-Track Mind: AI Innovation in Today’s Clinical Trials

Diversity, innovation and AI create a powerful synergy in today’s clinical development landscape. For many life science organizations, striking the right balance in utilizing automation to enhance their team’s capabilities while maintaining the human element is a priority. Moreover, the utilization of AI tools can serve as a co-pilot in DE&I initiatives and in data management, making it invaluable as the industry works towards more representative data sets in clinical trials.

During the 2023 DIA Global Annual Meeting – aptly named “illuminate” – these themes shone brightly in the programming from life science industry leaders, many of whom are spearheading the usage of AI to accelerate their clinical development goals and generate equitable workplaces for diverse teams. As Junaid Bajwa, MD, Chief Medical Scientist at Microsoft described during the plenary session, “it is of critical importance to articulate the most challenging problems that society has, in order to deliver solutions to humanity. AI is an accelerator of transformation – a partner that can enhance our capabilities and creativity.”

In clinical operations and data management, AI is being used to strategize, ingest data and automate processes, and future-plan. Najat Khan, Chief Data Science Officer at Johnson & Johnson invites us in the industry to think outside the box when it comes to artificial intelligence. There is frequent discussion of how AI may negatively impact the human-in-the-loop, but Najat encourages us to ask a more productive question: “What data are we generating, and how can we train these algorithms to fill in the gaps?”. By making AI work for us, it can help push you over the finish line for operational excellence.

We are fast approaching an impasse in the life sciences between those who are willing to leverage AI and those who don’t — and the divide between the two groups will only grow wider. As Najat states, “it is better to self-disrupt than to be disrupted. You must push for adoption of change and insist on transparency.” Organizations that resist integrating AI into their existing processes will soon find themselves falling behind in an ever-evolving industry. Wayne Walker, SVP Rave at Medidata shared, “the resource gap in data management increases as the volume of data increases — automation and AI fill the resource gap”.

Often, the cautiousness in adopting new technologies stems from a rooted fear of having to start completely fresh. However, as Nathan Johnson, VP of Digital Innovation at eClinical Solutions says, “you can build a new foundation under a house that already exists.” During his Innovation Theater presentation “Blueprint for the Modern Clinical Data Ecosystem with embedded AI”, Nathan discussed how a flexible data & analytics infrastructure provides a foundational blueprint to eliminate data fragmentation and increase data accessibility. Additionally, he shared how this modern blueprint – with embedded AI and automation – greater unlocks data value, enables the future state, and supports the most innovative trial models.

As many industry experts emphasized during the 2023 DIA Annual Meeting, artificial intelligence is here to stay, and organizations that get in on the ground floor of innovation will have that much more of a head start in preparing for future trials. While DIA “illuminated” the impact of AI innovations on the industry, the elluminate® Clinical Data Cloud enables clinical teams to begin to incorporate AI into their trials by leveraging AI-enabled data review capabilities for better data quality, greater efficiency, and faster insights. To learn more about how elluminate and eIQ Review can help enhance productivity at scale, please contact us today.


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