AI helps medical researchers forge ahead despite COVID’s blocking

COVID-19 isn’t only keeping patients home when they should be seeing their doctors. It’s also keeping clinical investigators from moving ahead with their research.

Making the most of an unwanted opportunity, the clinical trial software company Medidata has created a platform to sidestep the latter obstacle. It’s designed to facilitate collaboration between clinicians, biotech companies, patients and, not least, researchers.

TechRepublic posted a story on the development May 19.

Glen de Vries, president of Medidata, tells the outlet the pandemic has stalled clinical trials around the world. Oncology research, for example, has seen a decline of 50% in the number of patients participating.

To help researchers overcome the present challenges, he says, the company has been tapping its patient portal, analytics capabilities and a global repository of anonymized patient data.

“On the analytics side, AI using algorithms and queries is augmented by machine learning that can detect data patterns and deduce insights from them,” TechRepublic reporter Mary Shacklett explains. “Stacks of data from various sources are then consolidated into a single large dataset for the analysis.”

To this de Vries adds:

“We call this ‘synthetic control,’ because what we’re doing is synthesizing a great deal of data from myriad sources into a final denominator. This final denominator doesn’t occur in the real medical world, where clinics and researchers operate on their own independent data. Instead, the data we provide is a consolidation of many different patient profiles and findings from around the world. The data furnishes users with a large amount of data that can be used for study and comparison.”

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