AI News, Pioneering digital collaborations

Pioneering digital collaborations

MIT professors and MacArthur Fellows Regina Barzilay and Dina Katabi recently gathered leaders in technology, biotech, and regulatory agencies for a summit to inspire widespread adoption of artificial intelligence and digital technologies in health care.  MIT is surrounded by pharmaceutical companies, but until now there has been sparse connection between AI research at MIT and research on drug discovery.

Less than a year ago, they started a collaboration with pharmaceutical companies and quickly recognized a wealth of new research questions and an opportunity to transform the process of drug design and manufacturing.

Among them, he said, “150 are data scientists — and that’s not enough.” He ended his keynote with: “I know that together we can totally reimagine medicine.” Academic researchers presented cutting-edge work and highlighted benefits for clinical trials, which test the safety and efficacy of a new drug.

“You hear talk of Big Pharma getting out of Alzheimer’s because the failure rate in clinical trials have led them to see it as a “black hole.” But if you have more refined analytics that might provide some hope to investors and might attract them to invest.” AI for better results Other presentations delved into a wide range of improvements enabled by digital technologies.

He said it’s time to draw computationally on the millions of known reactions in databases only partially explored — such as articles in chemical, medical, or biological journals and in private repositories.

  David Sontag, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said he wants to see data from claims, clinical trials, disease registries and more used by machine learning for population-level understanding of disease progression.

“Maybe next year, I can come back and say we have highly effective treatments for this disease.” Shaping the future During an afternoon panel, MIT President Emerita Susan Hockfield, a professor of neuroscience in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, asked: “If we’re lucky, looking forward, how will the FDA onboard digital and machine learning devices?” “Things have to change, but the fundamental that shouldn’t change is that you have to validate that your technology has human benefit and the benefits outweigh the risk for the intended uses,” said Robert Califf, the vice chancellor for health data science at Duke University and former FDA commissioner.

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