Revolutionizing Antidepressant Treatment: AI Matches Drugs to Patients

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The Israeli health-tech company Genetika+ utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the optimal antidepressant and dosage for each patient. Using the most advanced stem cell technology, the company generates brain cells from a patient’s blood sample. These cells are exposed to multiple antidepressants, and the cellular alterations known as “biomarkers” are documented. AI analyses this data in conjunction with the patient’s medical history and genetic information to determine the optimal drug and dosage to prescribe. Genetika+ intends to launch the technology commercially next year, though it is still in development.

The Future Prospects for AI in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Technology has enormous potential to revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry. AI is already assisting in the identification of disease-target genes, the discovery of novel drugs, and the improvement of patient care through personalised treatment. Dr. Heba Sailem, a senior lecturer of biomedical AI and data science at King’s College London, believes that AI plays a significant role in the $1.4 trillion pharmaceutical industry worldwide in 2021.

Insilico Medicine is yet another company that employs AI to expedite drug discovery. The artificial intelligence platform of Hong Kong-based Insilico Medicine identifies drugs that can be repurposed or designs novel drugs for known disease targets. Its most advanced drug is a treatment for the lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Insilico Medicine accomplished this feat in less than 18 months and at a fraction of the cost, and has 31 additional compounds in development.

Obstacles to the Implementation of AI in the Pharmaceutical Sector

AI expert and author Calum Chace believes that the implementation of AI in the pharmaceutical industry is a gradual process. The magnitude of pharmaceutical companies and the significant changes required in research and development can affect a large number of employees in various departments, resulting in resistance to change. Dr. Sailem suggests that this models should be employed with stringent measures to avoid biases, particularly when trained on patient data, and should not be used without human intervention.

AI has the potential to revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry through the discovery of novel drugs, the improvement of patient treatment through personalised care, and the acceleration of drug discovery. In spite of the fact that companies such as Genetika+ and Insilico Medicine are utilising technology to enhance patient care and drug discovery, the pharmaceutical industry has been slow to adopt AI due to the extensive changes required in research and development. Nevertheless, with the right precautions, this new technology can help solve the enigma of which drugs work for whom.

Image source: ©Christoph Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images

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Yustika Kusuma Putri, she is social media marketer from Indonesia. I currently work as a Media Manager in Technologie Omicrom Sendas inc.
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