Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to play a significant role in addressing many of the core challenges currently faced by the pharmaceutical industry. 

As seen on Pharmaceutical Technology’s artificial intelligence deal tracker pharma sector deals involving pharma companies using artificial intelligence over the past nine quarters continues to be led by large corporations in the industry. 

As well as leading pharma companies using AI for an increasing number of applications and innovations, AI is becoming ubiquitous across society. In the pharma context and beyond, AI has a growing impact on our lives.  

The coming years will be more about practical uses of AI, as businesses ensure they get their money’s worth by using AI to address specific use cases, not least of which will be seen in the pharma industry.  

In terms of a forecast, we believe that pharmaceutical companies using AI will be a key driver of healthcare innovation.  

Though it is a highly regulated industry and has historically been slow to adopt new technologies and modernise, pharma companies using AI are leading the charge despite such hurdles and changing the industry landscape.  

With many benefits already being enjoyed, the use of AI in the pharma industry, as well as in the healthcare space overall, is expected to continue to increase in the next five years. 

The applications of AI in healthcare and pharma are many, with the potential to transform key aspects of the industry and drive innovation.  

Uses include data management, remote surgery, diagnostic and procedural AI assistants, drug discovery, and clinical trial design.  

Industry investment: pharmaceuticals companies using AI 

GlobalData forecasts that the market for AI platforms for the entire healthcare industry will reach $4.3bn by 2024, up from $1.5bn in 2019.  

This will be driven pharma companies using AI, as well as healthcare providers and payers, with the forecast to reach $2.9bn by 2024. 

Leading pharma AI companies have invested time, money and resources in developing their bespoke artificial intelligence solutions. Each solution is designed to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry while simultaneously addressing current difficulties.  

When it comes to market leaders in this field, how do you decide which pharma AI companies to work with and/or invest in?   

Our GlobalData sites offer a wealth of on-point, in-depth industry-led reports that can help answer such questions and discuss AI trends.  

Discover the top pharma AI companies  

In terms of pharma companies using AI, the industry is embracing the benefits it can deliver, especially when used in multiple areas across the entire value chain. 

Astra Zeneca, BMS , GSK , Johnson & Johnson, among others, are all increasingly active in the AI pharma companies’ space.  

Continued investment in the provision of products and services related to artificial intelligence shows no sign of a slowdown. 

As you will see, the wide-ranging information provided in the download document is of particular interest to pharmaceutical executives and leaders of pharmaceutical companies using AI. 

GSK is known to be one of the most active pharma companies in the AI space, as it set up its first in-house lab in 2016. GSK has been using AI and machine learning (ML) for many years to enhance its ability to interpret and understand genetics and genomics data.  

In April 2016, GSK opened an AI-powered manufacturing facility that employs the latest AI technology.  

Shortly after, it launched its new UK-based smart manufacturing facility called the IIM Digitization Lab. One of the many different functions that are used in the lab is computer vision and augmented reality to optimise manufacturing processes.  

At the end of 2020, GSK reported that it would use AI and ML technologies in the future for different functions, such as finding treatments for conditions such as cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Examples of artificial intelligence used in healthcare 

When utilising the wide range of practical applications available, pharma companies using AI have the potential to transform key aspects of the industry while simultaneously driving innovation. 

Among these uses are data management, remote surgery, diagnostic and procedural AI assistants, drug discovery, and clinical trial design.  

Such a range allows for both industry growth, as well as important clinical advances in real, practical terms.  

GlobalData experts have estimated, with detailed and data-led forecasts, that the market for AI platforms for the entire healthcare industry will reach $4.3bn by 2024, an increase from $1.5bn in 2019.  

Such growth will be mainly driven by major, leading pharma companies using AI in a range of applications. Ultimately, the pharma AI industry is forecast to reach $2.9bn by 2024.

Real-world applications of AI in pharma 

With many examples of pharmaceutical companies using AI, we can observe real-world applications of the technology. From drug discovery to mental health innovation, real-world applications are having a sizeable impact on both health and company values.  

Areas impacted include improved decision making, reduced manual groundwork, and the improvement of pharma and healthcare systems across several areas in the healthcare sector. 

Drug discovery 

Pharma companies using AI are assisting in the research phase of drug development by analysing existing materials, publications, data and insights. 

Drug sales 

Using AI in the analysis of vast amounts of clinical data and returning actionable insights, reducing time spent on sales research. 

Smart robotic surgery

Leading pharmaceutical companies using AI are now Leveraging machine learning capabilities to aid surgeons. This helps with delivering speedy calculations, assessing imagery, and helping with decision making, saving time in critical areas.  

Optimisation of clinical trials 

Assessing clinical trial data, optimisation of patient matching and the design of clinical trials.