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  • Barry Holleman

AI Narrows Down Medication Options

What if there was a better way to predict how a patient would react to a specific medication? How much time, guessing, suffering and cost would that save? Two recent research studies performed on different patient populations underline the power of artificial intelligence to predict which medication treatment options will work best for different individuals.


The first was performed by Dr. Madhukar Trivedi a professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center touches this interesting area of study in particularly for psychiatry patients and antidepressant medications. Dr. Trivedi and his team took historic data from a simple brain test called an EEG performed on hundreds of patients and combined it from learnings gathered through an artificial intelligence algorithm to predict whether a patient would respond well to an antidepressant.


In the second interesting study, this one focusing on asthma patients and there medications, Research lead Wu and Dr. Sally E. Wenzel, director of the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute at UPMC. By using artificial intelligence and specific clinical variables the goal is to help Physicians predict which of their patients suffering from severe asthma could benefit from treatment with systemic corticosteroids and which might not benefit but rather suffer from uncomfortable side effects.


"I see so many patients in my clinic who have been ravaged by the side effects of corticosteroids," said Wenzel, also chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health. Weight gain, extreme emotions, inability to sleep, glaucoma and thinning of the skin are among the possible side effects of corticosteroid pills and injections, so physicians would like to prescribe them only to patients they know will benefit from them," she added.
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