AI in Pharma with Rebecca Yu

September 15, 2021
 min read
AI in Pharma with Rebecca Yu

Discover how AI is being applied in the pharmaceutical industry with Rebecca Yu, Vice President of Gastroenterology at Takeda Canada. In a fascinating discussion with Michael Bancroft of Globalive, Rebecca reveals her insights about the role of artificial intelligence in the pharmaceutical industry. As Michael points out at the beginning of the interview, corporate spending on AI exceeded $50 billion last year, and this figure is only expected to increase. The medical and biopharma industries are now a part of this rapid investment in AI, and industry leaders like Rebecca are well positioned to assess how things are changing.

Below, we’ll share a few key takeaways, but you can jump straight to the video if you want to watch the interview now.

Pharma Is Finally Catching Up

In Rebecca’s estimation, the industry’s adoption of digital transformation was accelerated by five years due to the pandemic. That said, organizations that were better prepared to adopt digital tools have fared better through the pandemic. “This has sent a clear message to the pharma world and industry that we need to do better, and we need to do it faster”, says Rebecca, emphasising the industry-wide awareness of the need to move quickly on digital transformation. “Digital is the top priority for every company I talk to.”

Culture Is Important

Rebecca highlights the importance of leadership and company culture in adopting new technologies. Having the necessary talent and expertise in digital tools throughout an organization is vital, and where they are lacking, it takes leadership to extend adoption down to the grassroots. Transformation requires not only technology, but agility and the right mindset.

AI Has A Multitude of Applications

Rebecca has learnt a lot about the development of AI for life sciences through her work with startups at MaRS. From diagnostic applications like Winterlight Labs, to genomic research like DNA Stack, to analytics insights that create value for patients and customers like ODAIA’s own Maptual, AI has applications across the biomedical sphere.

Rebecca foresees AI being used across all aspects of the industry, from drug discovery to manufacturing to understanding patient and customer preferences, and emphasizes the need for transformation across entire organizations: “It’s not just R&D. It needs to touch all aspects of the business.”

Ultimately, this technology can improve patient outcomes. “I think that is the ultimate goal.”

If you’d like to watch the interview, follow this link!


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ODAIA offers a self-serve platform: MAPTUAL, serving the biopharma industry.

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