AI, big data to have biggest impact on pharma in 2019

Global pharmaceutical leaders are expecting AI and big data to have the “greatest technology impact” in the industry in 2019, according to a recent report by GlobalData.

Most leaders—39 percent—expect big data to have the greatest impact on the pharmaceutical industry next year, the report revealed. However, AI isn’t too far behind, at 32 percent.

The report comes as AI's pervasiveness in the healthcare industry continues to grow rapidly.

The expectations and focus on AI may be a little surprising considering most pharmaceutical companies were still in the early stages of implementing their AI strategies in the beginning of 2018, according to a press release.

However, the pharmaceutical industry isn’t the only one where AI is expected to make a big splash in 2019. A recent report by Forbes revealed the market for AI healthcare IT applications is expected to cross $1.7 billion by the end of next year. Additionally, the use of AI in healthcare was named the second most important medical innovation for 2019 by the Cleveland Clinic.

“Organizations are investing in AI not to reduce cost but rather to drive product innovation, grow revenue, gain operational efficiency and improve the customer experience. Once fully implemented, AI will enable real-time decision-making and could become a transformational force in healthcare,” Bonnie Bain, PhD, global head of pharma at GlobalData, said in a prepared statement.

In order to embrace and capitalize from AI and big data’s potential, Bain encouraged companies to learn exactly how new technologies can help and partner with established startups to implement them.

‘‘Companies need to understand the specific benefits that technologies such as AI can offer and how it can help their organization. Investing in AI and Big Data will not provide a cure for business problems, so do not believe the hype and set realistic expectations for success,” Bain said.

“Companies should consider partnering with an established technology provider or a start-up with a proven track record to ensure successful execution.”