COVID-19 Accelerates Use of AI in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Science graphic against chemist working in protective suit with futuristic interface showing a brainThe COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in the pharma market in domains such as healthcare. Artificial intelligence has demonstrated applications in enhancing multiple areas of care, from medical imaging and chronic disease management to population health and precision medicine. These algorithms could increase the efficiency of care delivery, reduce administrative burdens, and accelerate disease diagnosis.

The use of artificial intelligence for dealing with COVID-19 could also boost the market’s growth. For instance, a team from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health leveraged artificial intelligence to develop a COVID-19 mortality risk calculator. This calculator, using artificial intelligence, could inform public health policies around preventive resources, like N-95 masks. The increasing use of artificial intelligence in healthcare services during the pandemic acts as a driver for the market in the forecast period.

AI In COVID-19 Vaccine Development

AI helps in drug development by finding the best chemical compound for potential drugs by conducting simulation tests quicker that any human and determining new targets for new medicines. For instance, in January, Google DeepMind debuted AlphaFold, a deep-learning system that predicts the structure of several under-studied proteins, including those associated with COVID-19.

The prediction of protein structures is a time-consuming process, but with this technology, scientists can better analyze viruses and aid in the development of a vaccine that can trigger an immune response. AlphaFold has provided the general research community with the predictions of under-studied proteins that require laborious efforts for template modelling, and they are open for everyone now. These protein structures are being used by researchers to cross-examine coronavirus functions and aid the hypothesis generation system for future laboratory work in discovering therapeutics.

This inclusion of artificial intelligence in drug discovery drives the AI in drug discovery market. As per The Business Research Company’s AI drug discovery market report, it is estimated that the use of AI technologies could at least double the success rate of developing new drugs to 20%.

AI in Pharma Market Size and Growth

The global AI in pharma market is expected to grow from $0.91 billion in 2020 to $1.27 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39%. This growth is mainly due to companies resuming their operations and adapting to the new normal while recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. The market is expected to reach $5.94 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 47%.

Global Market Share

North America was the largest region in the AI in pharma market, accounting for 43.2% of the total in 2020. It was followed by Western Europe, Asia-Pacific and then the other regions.

Going forward, the fastest-growing regions in the AI in pharma market will be South America and Asia Pacific where growth will be at CAGRs of 42.7% and 38.6% respectively during 2020-2025. These will be followed by Africa and Western Europe, where the markets are expected to register CAGRs of 35.77% and 34.72% respectively during 2020-2025.

Key Market Segments

The AI in pharma market is segmented by technology into context-aware processing, natural language processing, querying method, and deep learning. The deep learning was the largest segment of the AI in pharma market segmented by technology, accounting for 33.2% of the total in 2020. Going forward, the querying method segment is expected to be the fastest growing segment in the AI in pharma market segmented by technology, at a CAGR of 32.74% during 2020-2025.

The AI in pharma market is also segmented by drug type small molecule and large molecules, and by area of application into clinical trial research, drug discovery, research and development, and others.

Leading Industry Players

The global AI in pharma market is highly concentrated, with a small number of large players dominating the market. The top ten competitors in the market made up to 69.42% of the total market in 2020. Major players in the market include IBM Watson Health, Alphabet Inc., Concreto HealthAI, Nvidia Corporation, and PathAI.

AI In Pharma Post-Pandemic Scenario

The use of AI in the pharmaceutical industry is expected to increase post the pandemic as industry leaders are adopting artificial intelligence in their processes and leveraging the benefits of AI. A 2020 study by Kearney revealed that 68% of global industry leaders in the healthcare sector consider AI and advanced analytics as major value drivers, indicating most companies are aware of their combined potential.

Going forward, collaborations between healthcare professionals and AI models can work to predict contagion rates, forecast for needed medical supplies, research potential cures or treatments and even provide new diagnosis methods.

Where to Learn More

AI in Pharma Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Growth and Change is one of a series of reports from The Business Research Company that provides AI in pharma market overviews, analyzes and forecasts market size, market players, market segments and geographies, the market’s leading competitors’ revenues, profiles and market shares.

About The Business Research Company

The Business Research Company is a market intelligence firm that excels in company, market, and consumer research. Located globally, it has specialist consultants in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, chemicals, and technology.

Topics: Software & Enterprise Computing Pharmaceuticals Industry Insights