A newly developed machine learning tool is being used by doctors and other researchers to investigate whether currently used medications might have the ability to treat other conditions than what they were originally designed to do. This artificial intelligence processes massive amounts of data and holds a lot of promise for expanding current understanding of medical treatment.
This research is being developed by a team at Ohio State University. They have been working to create a framework of information that examines patient data, medications taken, and existing medical conditions. Rather than looking at just what the condition that is being specifically treated, this AI has the capability of looking at comorbidities and seeing where a positive impact can be made. Doctors will have a much better understanding of the medications that they will be prescribing in the future. Hopefully, this will improve health for individuals in the near future because of better, more targeted treatment.
They published their findings in the January 2021 issue of Nature Machine Intelligence.
Originally, this research was conducted to help improve medications and treatment for heart disease and stroke. The goal was to help prevent heart failure and improve outcomes for those that have coronary disease. However, they soon discovered that this type of learning could be used for multiple health conditions. There are a number of ways that this can be put to good use, according to the researchers.
For one, this helps to lower the risk of using medications. Because drugs will be repurposed with this approach, there is far less risk of surprise side effects. Doctors will have an extensive history of what medications do, issues that could arise, and a comprehensive list of potential side effects.
Additionally, this research should go a long way toward helping speed up medication research–in a safe way. One of the observations was that this is likely to speed up the process of getting medications approved by the FDA. Rather than spending a lot of time in research before human trials begin, machine learning can effectively “test” medications on people without anyone actually taking a medication. It will soon be possible to get an idea if a previously existing medication can effectively treat a condition or illness before anyone actually tests these drugs out.
The goal is to help make the medical field more efficient through the use of technology. We have seen this in a lot of other ways, recently. For example, we have seen the widespread use of telehealth and video chat for many types of medical appointments because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this hasn’t been ideal for everyone, it has opened up new avenues of receiving help for many people.
And this is good. More options means that more people will get better care. AI can help with finding new uses for medications and other treatments, but that’s certainly not the only way that care can be improved. Customized senior care can also be of benefit.
If you’d like to learn more about this and how we can help, please give us a call. We’d love to talk more.