An extensive report by eMarketer, AI In Drug Discovery and Development, discusses how AI can speed up the drug discovery and development process while eliminating costs, how startups are taking first steps at utilizing AI’s power to streamline the process of bringing a drug to market, and current barriers preventing AI from its full potential in the drug making process.

This year revealed that pharma companies became more active investors in digital health – who made up 20% of digital health funding – an 11% increase from 2019. Several pharma companies are looking into AI and its capability to significantly cut the time and resources used to bring drugs to market. To put things into perspective, traditionally, it takes about 12 years and roughly $3 billion throughout the entire drug discovery and development process.

Digital health startups focused on AI are starting to design algorithms and platforms for the different stages of the research and development process. Even tech giants, like Amazon and Google, are forming partnerships with drug companies to simplify the drug development process.

Despite the excitement around AI’s involvement in the pharma space, there are concerns that cause barriers to use of the technology. Undeniably, pharma handles huge amounts of data that do not come from a single, cohesive model. Instead, data is pulled from a slew of models and sources and could harm investments. There is the “black box” dilemma. The top priority among medical professionals is to ensure the safety of their patients. The lack of transparency around how AI algorithms will draw their conclusions is sure to tarnish the confidence the medical community will have in these tools.

Go to eMarketer’s report which uses Insider Intelligence to dive deep into AI’s role in the drug development process, from companies currently using it to big tech’s involvement.