Dr. Andree Bates
Dr. Andree Bates is extremely passionate about the way Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help healthcare teams solve their biggest commercial challenges and deliver measurable growth. That’s why she founded Eularis, a firm that is dedicated to achieving exactly that.
“We work with mainly pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as some medical devices,” says Dr. Bates. “We're really just solving their problems using Artificial Intelligence.”
Dr. Bates says that while there are similarities between some of the various problems she has encountered – around 300 at last count – most are different or have a unique angle. Her current passion project involves the democratization of AI to help all healthcare-related companies understand its value and how to use it to solve their unique challenges.
“Healthcare teams are time-poor and simply do not have the time to stay on top of the myriad of ways AI and FutureTech can solve their challenges. They keep wasting time and money reinventing the wheel because of this. So, I decided to make it easy for them and do it for them. I started an affordable membership to help healthcare organizations, and their agencies, identify the strategic areas that make sense to growing their business, and saving them time, using AI and FutureTech; then we source and select the best-in-breed solutions and vendors who are the right fit that would ensure real commercial value is delivered.” she says.
She added “I have been finding companies that are doing amazing things with AI, including Amelia, and interviewing those companies and identifying how each solution solves specific challenges that I see with my healthcare clients. And for those who want to understand how to plan their AI strategy, I've also done an accredited success path training to take people from zero knowledge right through to automating their work with AI and FutureTech to grow their results and save them time and money.”
AI is especially useful in pharmaceuticals all throughout the product lifecycle, and Dr. Bates says her focus is mainly on commercial applications, but she says the majority of the use cases tend to focus on R&D and discovery.
“There are massive databases of genomics, so it would be very difficult to do that effectively without AI, and that's why drug discovery and R&D takes so long to get from molecule to bench,” she says. “That's a big area that a lot of companies are working in.”
Dr. Bates adds that AI has been particularly useful during the pandemic because it helped identify existing drugs that would work or should work with COVID-19 patients. Those drugs are now in a trial phase. She says AI has also identified molecules that are in different trials – but not existing drugs – and could pave the way for an important discovery.
“We've also worked in the space of finding patients,” Dr. Bates explains. “We had one project where it was an early phase two trial and it was for a specific, really rare type of prostate cancer. They couldn't find that many patients, perhaps only six, which wasn't really enough for the trial. We were able to use AI with patient health records to identify where the patients were. Of course, we didn’t have any personally identifiable information, but we could get their provider number and find their doctors, so it's very beneficial in that instance.”
While Dr. Bates loves tech, she admits that she didn’t plan a career in the space. She was drawn to it – and ultimately fell into it – after noticing the shortcomings in the way things were being done. She believed that tech could solve many challenges and had a boss who supported her thesis.
“Opportunities opened up for me to do a lot more solutions, and I kind of just became a part of tech,” she says. “It wasn't really by design, although I love it."
Like many working in the field of AI, Dr. Bates has discovered a degree of fear and skepticism among those who are less informed about what the technology actually does and can achieve. She hosted a webinar on the topic – specifically focusing on the concern that AI may eliminate jobs – and received more signups than she had for any other webinar.
“I do think a lot of jobs will change with AI, for sure,” she says. “I think you need to be looking at what parts AI can do better and what parts humans can do better. But there's also a lack of understanding about the technology.”
Early education and demonstrations could be the key to overcoming these fears while inspiring future generations to explore a career in AI or another tech field.
“I think people like to work on things that are of interest to them,” says Dr. Bates. “Let them be exposed to what this actually means. I bet if you introduced Amelia to five-year-old girls they would want to be working in that space when they grow up. I think it's really showing them what's possible and exciting their curiosity. If someone's curious and passionate about something, then they will work in that space because that's what they want to do.”