Curious about the increasing use of AI and robotics in life sciences? From enhancing drug development to speeding up lab work, we look at ways these rapidly evolving technologies are making their mark.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are major talking points in the life sciences industry today. These technologies are transformative, changing how we think about everything from drug discovery and clinical trials to diagnostics and personalized medicine.

Indeed, there’s so much chatter about AI and robotics that it can be hard to locate the signal amid the noise. Cutting to the chase, here’s a quick primer on four areas where AI and robotics are revolutionizing life sciences.

1. using machine learning for drug discovery

One branch of AI is machine learning (ML), where computers learn through experience and data. Think of chatbots or the recommendations that pop up in your Facebook feed.

ML is already making huge strides in the pharmaceutical industry. Machine learning algorithms can analyze complex data and predict the success of potential drug compounds. They can also improve the efficiency of clinical trials, spotting patterns a human might not look for and speeding up tasks such as identifying suitable participants.

Machines can screen massive amounts of data to find new targets for existing drugs. With the typical cost of research and development for a new drug regularly topping $2 billion, repurposing a drug can result in significant savings. ML is also increasingly significant in precision medicine, leading to personalized treatments by predicting a patient’s response.

2. developing vaccines with AI

Another area where AI has played a crucial role is in the development of mRNA vaccines. For example, Moderna went from producing 30 mRNAs a month manually to creating around 1,000 per month using AI algorithms and robotic automation.

The biotech company has also harnessed AI technology to optimize mRNA sequencing and analyze large data sets, freeing up valuable time for scientists. With this automation already in place, Moderna created a COVID-19 vaccine for a phase 1 trial in just 42 days.

3. designing AI-driven medical devices

Between January and July 2022, the FDA added an incredible 91 AI-enabled medical devices to its approved list. The biggest number relates to radiology. These include CardiIQ Suite, an automated calcium scoring algorithm that can identify the presence and site of coronary artery calcifications.

AI tools are also promising breakthroughs in cancer detection and treatment. Artificial intelligence can determine a person’s risk of developing cancer, while devices like the iKnife can instantly diagnose the disease.

4. the growing role of robotics

The use of robotics is transforming the life sciences sector, particularly in labs, where they can:

  • automate repetitive manual tasks such as pipetting
  • use vision technology to identify bacteria
  • handle hazardous materials

Robots eliminate the risk of contamination, error and muscle strain. Just as importantly, they save time and money. As the demand for lab testing and drug development grows in tandem with an aging population, robotics are likely to play an ever-increasing role.

If your life sciences company is looking for new talent to leverage these technological advances, Randstad Life Sciences can help. We’ve meticulously built relationships with experienced professionals, allowing us to match you with the AI and robotics specialists you need. Get in touch today to find out more about our life sciences solutions.