What can AI teach us about precision medicine?

At Quadrant, precision medicine is at the core of our work. As a specialized international healthcare consultancy, over 80% of our work relates to precision medicine and personalized healthcare. But, what do we actually mean by the term “precision medicine”? If we ask industry experts, each person’s understanding of this term carries different nuances around, and there seems to be no unified understanding of what does or does not constitute precision medicine. We saw an opportunity to leverage artificial intelligence and big data to collect market insights in an innovative way that allowed us to synthesize and analyze unprompted feedback on how physicians and patients understand precision medicine to fully immerse into the customers’ point of view.

We trained an artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing algorithm through an iterative process to acquire hundreds of thousands of relevant online conversations to identify patterns in how precision medicine is discussed. While the vast majority of conversations came from Twitter, we were also able to pull discussions from blogs and forums, resulting in an initial pool of over 400,000 English-language posts between March 2018 and March 2020. Our final analysis examines ~51,000 conversations identified using 20 key terms from this pool of online dialogues, which helps understand how physicians and patients speak about precision medicine today.

The data collected and analyzed with this AI algorithm supports several key insights on how physicians and patients perceive the role of precision medicine at different stages in the patient journey. From how diagnostic testing has transformed patient selection targeted therapies, to the evolving role of preventative genetic testing, to the launches of most innovative treatments available to patients today, precision medicine is transforming how patients with a variety of rare diseases and cancers are being treated—and both physicians and patients have a lot to say about this.

Over the next few months, we look forward to sharing with you what AI can teach us about precision medicine, and specifically how both physicians and patients perceive this rapidly evolving field. We’ll also be layering on our own insights from decades working alongside the top pharma companies as they launch these innovative treatments, and delve into topics such as how biomarker testing has changed the patient journey, the emergence of gene therapy, and more. We hope you’ll follow along with us on this adventure!