Embracing AI & Emerging Technologies to Advance Cancer Care Oncology │ Leadership │ Article │ Data
By Teresa Bitetti, President, Global Oncology Business Unit
Recently I joined a panel discussion with fellow biopharma leaders centered around innovation in the industry – I was encouraged and excited to see how much of our conversation focused on the growing popularity of emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), and their wide-reaching potential.
Technology continues to evolve at a breakneck pace – from chatbots to AI-generated photos to virtual reality platforms – and increasingly I see new digital solutions become commonplace across most industries. While the adoption of these new technologies in the healthcare setting has been a bit slower compared to others, nowhere does it hold more potential to be transformative – especially in oncology.
As drug developers, embracing data and digital technologies can speed up treatment progress, accelerate the delivery of medicines and address patients' needs more effectively. The possibilities are endless, and I’m proud of how we are applying these tools at Takeda to help us solve problems – both big and small – and create efficiencies at all stages of development. I am particularly excited by the progress we are making with a few specific applications.
Identifying Applications in Oncology
Clinical trial recruitment is crucial to the development of any investigational treatment. But with specific enrollment criteria to consider, it can be difficult to find the right patients. With the help of digital platforms and tools, we are analyzing data from diverse sources, allowing us to identify and enroll patients in trials more efficiently. One way we do this at Takeda is by leveraging available real-world data, clinical data and field intelligence to identify where eligible patients are located and set up clinical trial sites in those areas for a more targeted approach to recruitment. This may seem simple, but it is critical to consider the impact this could have in diversifying recruitment and streamlining clinical trials.
Once we have enrolled suitable patients in our trials, technology also helps us ensure our clinical trials stay on track. At Takeda, we continue to advance digital automation across our clinical supply chain, including using system-driven production planning to support automated ordering and distribution. This ensures that investigational therapies are available when needed to keep our studies moving forward. These applications ultimately help us accelerate trials and reduce the time it takes to make potential medicines available to patients.
Once a treatment is approved and available, technology can also help us better reach healthcare providers and improve patient treatment experience. One way it does this is by helping us create personalized experiences for each person to engage with based on their individual needs and preferences. Many of us experience this type of application often, such as when we log into a streaming platform like Netflix. Each Netflix user has a slightly different home screen based on their unique likes, dislikes and viewing history. Similarly, with the help of technology, our team leverages proprietary data and insights to create a custom experience for healthcare providers. It ensures we are reaching them at the right place and right time. We are also exploring ways to capture and analyze patient data on our treatments so we can partner with their providers to support things like adherence to therapy, health outcomes and quality of life.
Paving the Way for Patients
While the unknown can be intimidating, by embracing new technology and treating it as another valuable tool in our arsenal – one that enhances versus replaces the human touch – we will address both complex problems and everyday tasks with increased efficiency and effectiveness.
It was clear from my recent panel discussion that the healthcare industry has already begun to take steps in the right direction to maximize the benefits of these tools – I look forward to seeing how digital solutions, like the ones being incorporated by Takeda, can get us closer to our aspiration of finding a cure for cancer.
People living with cancer are waiting – let us work together to leverage the tools available in the service of patients and make a positive impact on the world.