Artificial Intelligence Helps Develop New Pharmaceuticals

Artificial Intelligence Helps Develop New Pharmaceuticals


It was chosen out of 210 competing projects to be one of the three winning business ideas at Bioupper, and was thus judged worthy of a 180,000-euro loan. Bioupper is a business competition that supports young entrepreneurial talent and startups in the life sciences, promoted by Novartis and the Cariplo Foundation in collaboration with IBM and Cariplo Factory. The name of the product is Patch and its creator, Alessandro Monterosso, a 28-year-old Calabrian from Palmi, is a graduate of the Master of International Healthcare Management, Economics and Policy (MIHMEP) offered by the SDA Bocconi School of Management. Alessandro describes it as follows: «Patch is the first conversational platform for patients enrolled in drugs’ clinical trials, based on an app that, through an empathetic virtual assistant, collects data and allows to monitor the trial results in real time, thus obtaining answers for the people being tested on their quality of life, therapeutic consistency, evolution of symptoms, and adverse effects.
The objective is to increase patient engagement so to increase the effectiveness of clinical trials ". Monterosso, who has a background in nursing and pediatric oncology, is supported in his entrepreneurial idea by two other MIHMEP graduates, Kumara Palanivel from India and Filip Ivancic from Serbia. "After working as a research nurse in oncology and pediatrics," Alessandro continues, “I started thinking of venturing into the pharmaceutical business and for this reason I applied to MIHMEP.” The idea of ​​Patch was thus born during his Master’s studies, which focused on the need to exploit the emerging technologies of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and instant messaging for collecting and analyzing data coming from drugs’ clinical trials, also because industry trends are moving from fit-all treatments to personalized ones.”

The benefits are shared by all concerned, from patients to pharma companies. Since the Bioupper award, Patch has undergone an acceleration, so that Alessandro Monterosso and his fellow entrepreneurs will fully devote themselves to the project and count on having a beta version ready by April. They think this will persuade investors to have confidence in their enterprise. "The first market-ready version of the app should be ready by the end of the year and we expect to officially launch to market in the first quarter of 2020. And all this is happening thanks to what we were taught at the SDA Bocconi Master of International Healthcare Management".

by Davide Ripamonti
Translated by Alex Foti

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