The Long & Short of It

Clinical Trials Go Digital

05 MAR 2020
TOPICS: Healthcare | Technology Driving Innovation

Today, more than 90% of new drugs fail clinical trials in the US, and those that do succeed can take upwards of seven years to reach FDA approval. Yet clinical trials, unlike other areas of healthcare, remain relatively untouched by digital innovations that could improve their success and efficiency.

In Goldman Sachs Research’s estimations, broader adoption of technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence could drive a 15% reduction in outsourced drug development costs, helping with everything from trial site selection and patient enrollment to data-driven decision-making. And if computing capabilities and intelligent algorithms eventually become powerful enough to simulate the functioning of individual cells, patient testing could be removed from the process entirely. “[In-silico trials] would be where there are no humans involved in a clinical trial, and you’re just leveraging software and previous results from other individuals in order to make determinations around the efficacy of a drug,” explains Goldman Sachs Research’s Robert P. Jones. While still decades away, he believes simulated trials can create opportunities for big tech companies in the drug development space and drastically reduce the timeframe and cost of bringing new medicines to market. 


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