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Data First (if you don't want to be second...)

Data is a huge opportunity and Life Science companies should embrace it to leverage their businesses. That was one of the key take aways at Innovation Centre Denmark’s Life Science AI Academy in Silicon Valley. Learn more about how your company can become a “data first” organization.

Do you consider yourself a member of a “data first” organization? If the answer is no, you are not alone. We recently asked a group of Danish Life Science executives the same question, and they didn't either. 

When Life Sciences organizations recognize that there are new and powerful tools for innovation and discovery in the healthcare field - they are taking an important step. It is the first step to understanding how leveraging a wealth of data can benefit and accelerate development for the healthcare sector and for their organization.

In January, participants in our Life Science AI Academy* experienced firsthand how data is playing an increasingly central role in Life Science. During a week-long visit to Silicon Valley they engaged with universities, hospitals and tech companies and obtained an appreciation of how AI can play a role in improving patients’ lives.

Here are a couple of examples:

A short-cut to discovering new medicine

To produce first-in-class medications, drug discovery and development experts have used a standard process for decades. Understanding pathogenesis, selecting targets, developing bioassays and subsequent high throughput screens are the typical first four steps of a first-in-class discovery effort. These stages can take over three years to complete. Today, companies are emerging that replace these four processes which run completely in silico and produce the same output (a pre-clinical ready molecule) in less than a month.  

Using AI algorithms to detect breast cancer

Last month, a team of researchers announced that they had created an AI algorithm which outperformed radiologists in detecting breast cancer in mammograms. Trained on tens of thousands of mammogram images, the algorithm measurably reduced both false positives and false negatives compared to human doctors. Currently, the consensus is that AI will not replace radiologists, but radiologists using AI will replace those who do not.

Embrace the data

In recent years we have witnessed large tech companies disrupt industries, one after the other, all by using data. Take Uber for example - they’re the world’s largest car hailing company and they do not even own a single car! The same disruption is coming to the life science field. We will undoubtedly see a world where data driven science, the use of AI, and deep learning will play a major role. It will be a world where development of pharmaceuticals happens in a lab full of super computers and data scientists  - not test tubes and petri dishes.



Think global

Usually, there is no shortage of data in the Life Science field - the key to accelerating innovation and development is the use of AI and machine learning to unlock the value of this data. Becoming a “data first” organization is a business decision rather than a technology decision – the technology is already here! 

Data is an opportunity and companies that understand how data can be effectively leveraged in their business will have a competitive edge. One of the participants in the Life Science AI Academy agrees and encourages other organizations to make it a priority in their companies:

”Denmark is in a great place for becoming a nation that leverages the wealth of data, however, it will require a deliberate effort and every company that wants to compete in the global marketplace should put this on their agenda,” Morten Mørup, Professor and head of studies B.Sc. AI and Data at DTU Compute.

Global outreach and collaboration are key to strengthen the use of data in the Life Science field and leveraging learning from universities and technology driven companies around the world are key to not getting left behind.

At ICDK we are focused on Life Science and on building bridges to Denmark that will strengthen the ecosystem of Danish Life Science companies – we are well connected in the Silicon Valley area and we understand the power of collaboration and knowledge sharing between Danish institutions and companies and Silicon Valley experts, companies and universities.

*Life Science AI Academy is a collaboration between ATV and ICDK in Silicon Valley.


If you want to know more, please feel free to reach out to us.