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Clinical Insider
Clinical Insider

Fortrea sets up AI wing citing increasing demand

Posted by on 10 July 2024
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Fortrea has set up an artificial intelligence (AI) “studio” that will use the approach to try and improve various parts of the clinical trial process.

The Durham, North Carolina contract research organization (CRO) unveiled the new unit late last month, explaining it will develop AI and machine learning (ML) technologies for drug trials.

Chief information pfficer, Alejandro Martinez Galindo, said “Fortrea’s AI Innovation Studio will enable enhanced technological capabilities that will allow AI-enabled systems to perform cutting-edge processes—such as trial simulations, predictive analytics and pattern recognition—as well as repetitive, administrative, ‘machine-friendly tasks’.

“This frees up people to contribute human creativity and connection to the clinical trial of tomorrow and focus on what counts: the patient,” he added.

This was echoed by Brian Dolan, VP of AI and machine learning at Fortrea, who said “We are exercising great care and consideration to the responsible and ethical development and deployment of AI, prioritizing doing the right thing for the right reasons and protecting patient safety and privacy, and the intellectual property of our customers.”

The CRO cited smartphone-enabled data collection, specialized large language models for text comprehension as well as augmented data mining and predictive analytics as areas of focus for the new unit.

Fortrea – which split form former parent firm Labcorp last year – is not the only company in the drug development space to have invested in AI in recent months.

In November, for example, AstraZeneca set up Evinova, a services firm focused on using AI and other digital technologies to streamline clinical trials.

And in February this year Avance Clinical partnered with AI firm Ryght to add the latter’s generative technology to its drug studies offering. Similarly, a month prior Emmes set up an AI unit to embed the technology in “all parts of clinical trials.”

More recently, Canadian health AI technology firm Healwell bought BioPharma Services for $11.9 million citing a desire to build its presence in the growing drug trials market.


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