Industry Watcher’s Digest

Buzzworthy developments of the past few days.

  • More than 4 of 10 provider people believe AI is already accepted and widely used in their neck of healthcare. Only 2 of 10 of pharma folk would say the same of theirs. The Berkeley Research Group made the finding when it surveyed 150 healthcare professionals from both realms. BRG analyst Clay Willis comments that the commercial side of the pharmaceutical industry is “ripe for a push toward more effective AI use in marketing, pricing strategy and contract decisions, which have substantial upside and limited risk.” However, Willis adds, today’s uncertain regulatory landscape has led to “slower AI implementation in other key areas like drug development and clinical trials.”
  • That’s not to say promising things aren’t happening with AI in pharma. Case in point: This week Brand Engagement Network, aka “Ben,” announced it’s partnering with MedAdvisor Solutions. Ben is an up-and-coming provider of personalized customer engagement AI, MedAdvisor a specialist in pharmacy-based patient engagement. The pair’s strategic alliance will match conversational AI chatbots with patients filling prescriptions. Ben’s CEO, Michael Zacharski, says such AI assistance will offer an “unrushed personal conversation about medication regiments to improve the experience of the customer, the retail pharmacy chain and the pharmaceutical manufacturer.”
  • ‘Nobody could force a doctor to practice medicine in a way they don’t want to.’ Think otherwise? Try pressuring physicians to use an iteration of AI that, in their perception, might threaten their income and their autonomy. Cardiologist-turned-venture capitalist Ronald Razmi, MD, makes the point in an interview with Newsweek. “Historically, physicians have shown they’re very good at making sure those technologies never gain adoption,” adds Razmi, who expounds on the observation in his new book, AI Doctor: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.
  • On the other hand, physicians are only able to process about 5% of the data available to them before deciding on a particular treatment for any given patient. The other 95%? Anyone trying to manually manage it, MD degree or not, would be overwhelmed by the attempt. Dushyant Sahani, MD, chair of radiology at the University of Washington in Seattle, points this out for the Spokane-based Spokesman-Review newspaper. “In the modern world, we have so much data,” Sahani says, “but we need a better way of using it for appropriate [medical] decision-making.” Enter AI, of which Sahani seems to be an enthusiastic adopter. Read the article.
  • Delivering routine childhood vaccines by drone can save both lives and money. New research shows as much. The investigators say the proposition may be especially attractive, at least initially, in regions where transportation is iffy. Fine, but in this era of self-driving vehicles, who’s economically better suited to fly the drones—humans or bots? Consider the question AIin.Healthcare’s suggestion for follow-up research. Till then, the authors of the present study state, “Choosing long-range drones rather than airplanes to handle large-quantity deliveries—and utilizing short-range drones to replace trucks and boats for smaller deliveries—is most efficient.”
  • Compared with other Big Tech players, Apple has been oddly tightlipped about its AI ambitions. But if actions speak louder than words, the silence may be about to break. This week, a leaker let out that Apple is canceling work on its electric car and shuffling talent from that project to its AI division. If true, Apple is likely to up its focus on GenAI, figures analyst Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies. This “should give investors more optimism about the company's efforts and ability to compete at a platform level on AI,” Bajarin tells Reuters.
  • A few upcoming AI events of note:


Dave Pearson

Dave P. has worked in journalism, marketing and public relations for more than 30 years, frequently concentrating on hospitals, healthcare technology and Catholic communications. He has also specialized in fundraising communications, ghostwriting for CEOs of local, national and global charities, nonprofits and foundations.

Trimed Popup
Trimed Popup