What is the path to addressing the remaining 10,000 human diseases? 

Almost two years ago, Medable CEO Michelle Longmire asked this question in a blog titled “Accelerating the path from possibility to proof in the development of new medicines.” Back then, she wrote that leveraging the most meaningful tools we had at the time would drive new synergies at the intersection of safety, science, and speed and enable a new era of drug development.

Today, our industry stands at the precipice of a new era in clinical research, marked by rapid advancements in technologies that society widely refers to as artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI and ML). While each of these technologies has existed for some time, recent advancements in their capabilities have brought them to the forefront of our industry.

In the future, AI and ML may prove to be the most important technologies of our time, as they have the potential to enable true scalability in pharma, as well as other business sectors. 

Clinical trials inherently limit scalability

Every clinical trial our industry conducts is unique. This is due to a combination of factors related to the nature of medical research, the specific objectives of the trial, the characteristics of the study population, and the regulatory environment. Adding to this are each trial’s varied objectives, which can range from testing the safety and efficacy of a new treatment to exploring the optimal dosing regimen or investigating a disease’s mechanisms. 

Previously, this uniqueness has limited the number of clinical trials we can conduct. As it stands today, the number of new treatments each year has remained static despite increasing costs and investment in technology. 

Clinical trial platforms are central to scale

When Medable imagines the future, we envision a world in which pharma companies will be implementing AI into every facet of trial execution, driving increased efficiency across the entirety of their trial. 

However, realizing this potential requires a logical technology foundation, like a digitally enabled clinical trial platform. The technology foundation should create a ‘single pane of glass’ for the site and the patient. Here, the goal is to avoid multiple logins, clunky app switching, or fragile integrations between products that are not meant to be integrated. It’s also to simplify complex trials, their technologies, and their workflows. 

Creating scale and growth

It’s within this foundation of a digital clinical trial platform where AI and ML can overcome the uniqueness of protocols to enable scale across an entire pipeline. As this technology continues to evolve, Medable envisions a world of clinical trial platforms that enable pharma organizations to find commonality in conduct across their portfolio of trials, building bridges that help create new standards that can be carried to new trials, regardless of their unique factors. It’s within this framework that we believe a one-day study startup, one-day participant enrollment, and one-year study conduct are achievable.

For example, one could imagine a future where the conditions that help create fast-paced study startups in vaccine trials as they move from location to location can be identified, modified as needed, and brought to other therapeutic areas. 

Medable’s vision and plans

At Medable, we have a plan with artificial intelligence and machine learning that we’ll be bringing into the market later this year. We’re excited to see how we can transform clinical development for our customers. But perhaps more importantly, we’re excited to see the progress we can make as an industry in the next two to five to ten years. 

As AI continues to advance, the potential for unity between AI, science, and compassion becomes tangible, fostering a future where the 10,000 diseases that have burdened humanity for centuries may finally find their treatments and resolutions.