Article by Professor Vinny Wade, Director of ADAPT.
The last two years have proved that digital technology is a critical enabler of all aspects of society, including healthcare. Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming digital healthcare, leading to exciting opportunities for screening, decision making support, disease treatment and personalised or ‘precision’ medicine delivery.
Increasingly our world is driven by data. A major challenge for precision medicine is developing and deploying innovative and agile solutions that can unlock the data needed for precision medicine. At the ADAPT Centre, our goal is to have AI used by clinicians in a way that augments their abilities to make better, more accurate decisions and faster, more informed diagnoses. With access to large reams of medical information from different sources, clinicians can get a more holistic picture allowing them develop individual treatment pathways for patients.
One such example that we are leading on from a data-science perspective is ‘Precision ALS’. It is an ambitious academic, clinical and industry research programme that will provide new insights in our understanding of motor neuron disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The pan-European programme will result in advanced data-driven prediction models for progression of the disease in patients and next-generation data analysis that facilitates clinical insights and treatment.
The Irish team will lead the development of metadata management tools for advanced integration of real-world clinical data sets, including remote monitoring. The development of a whole illness model of disease within the wider healthcare ecosystem opens up the opportunity for new products and services, new therapeutics and diagnostic tools and the framework can be easily adapted to other diseases such as cancer.
Expectations are high for the future of AI-driven healthcare. Close collaboration between researchers and industry will help us unlock real-world data in an ethical way. This is the key to realising true ‘precision medicine’ and providing the most suitable, personalised medicine.