Oracle (ORCL.NYSE) leverages artificial intelligence to connect cancer patients with clinical trials


Oracle Health Sciences, the medical sciences wing of Oracle (ORCL.NYSE), is participating in The Opportunity Project (TOP) Technology Spring: Creating the Future of Health.

TOP is a 12-week technology development sprint that brings together technology developers, communities, and government to solve real-world problems using open data. TOP will host its Demo Day 2019 tomorrow at the U.S. Census Bureau in Suitland, MD.

Oracle’s entry for this this year involves using open data sets from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs and the National Cancer Institute to highlight how artificial intelligence (AI) and customer experience solutions can be used to connect cancer patients with clinical trials and the right experimental therapies.

“It is paramount that we collaborate with our peers within the federal government and technology communities to collectively evaluate what innovative opportunities exist and to explore the potential applications AI and machine learning can offer to fight deadly diseases such as cancer. The opportunity to participate in the TOP challenge lets us apply Oracle solutions in new ways while also harnessing the learnings to benefit the lives of patients who need treatment in the future,” said Steve Rosenberg, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Health Sciences.

Connecting patients with critical trials

It’s an onerous task, beset with hours of fruitless hours spent sifting through the names associated with case-files and diseases, and traditionally it’s been a task done only by hand. Any new medicine, medical device, vaccine or combination product that successfully makes it to market has gone through an expensive ($2.6 billion) process from discovery to approval. That journey means clinical trials and post-marketing surveillance, because safety risk monitoring is an important part of the process.

“Pharmacovigilance is first and foremost, vital to patient safety, in addition to being a regulatory requirement. But pharmacovigilance also protects organizations from potential financial and reputational costs associated with recall, fines, or negative media coverage,” said Bruce Palsulich, VP of product strategy for Oracle Health Sciences.

The variables in question have only grown more challenging as the complexity and regulatory environments for these complex products have increased in volume. The amount of security data in place has increased along with it, placing an exorbitant demand on safety departments as companies look to ease back on expenses. Companies can’t afford legions and armies of file clerks sifting through paper (or digital) records to link customers with trials anymore, and a newer, more automatic way is required.

This year Oracle’s entry builds on the last technology spring by using open datasets to explore how machine learning and AI. It also demonstrates how the identities of patients will be protected during the trial recruitment process.

If implemented, AI could improve upon the majority of traditional manual processes with algorithms to automate the process, allowing the rapid collation and prioritization of huge amounts of information.

“It’s important to understand that there’s no general AI tool that can simply be pointed towards a safety problem and be expected to produce accurate results. Dozens of highly specialized algorithms, based on insight from deep domain experts and people in the trenches of safety case management, work together are what create a solid safety solution,” said Palsulich.

Oracle’s submission calls from a broad array of Oracle’s resources, including Oracle Healthcare Foundation, Oracle Policy Automation and Oracle Graph Machine Learning Solutions to name a few, to create a demonstration that may connect patients and clinical staff through interfaces that provide data at the point of care. This interface would also allow doctors to track their patient’s progress, and produce information regarding the appropriate clinical trial options as they arise.

—Joseph Morton

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