Innovation + Partnering

Artificial Intelligence - when we suddenly know what we don’t know

By Stefan Oelrich


Stefan OerlichStefan Oelrich
Member of the Board Management of Bayer AG
President Pharmaceuticals


One of my preferred truisms is that “I do not know what I do not know”. Maybe it’s not so true any longer with the advent of deep learning and machine learning within artificial intelligence (AI).

While our healthcare industry is again at the dawn of a new biological revolution with first therapies emerging through induced pluripotent stem cells and gene editing, we should not underestimate the importance of another digital revolution on our ability to innovate into uncharted territories.

As we generate more patient data every day and gain better access to already existing data, machines are taking over to help us cut through the clutter and come to conclusions that the human mind has difficulties to process. Machines can now create new knowledge rather than just data outputs.

Data science taking center stage

Within Bayer Pharmaceuticals we have taken promising first steps to use artificial intelligence to enhance our existing solutions.

While we started with small pilot projects that helped us make incremental changes and learn from mistakes, we have also made significant strides. Bayer and Merck have recently received FDA breakthrough designation to artificial intelligence software for CTEPH pattern recognition. This new software will be deployed through Bayer’s Radimetrics™ platform detecting a rare but severe disease and help save and improve the lives of patients.

Translating from digital to bedside

But we won’t rest here. This is just the beginning of a journey. As we open the first doors in this unknown land we start to discover how much more is out there for our entire pharmaceutical value chain spanning from research to product supply.

I expect AI to help us know what we have not known so far. Artificial Intelligence will become instrumental in our search for new medicines to better serve patients around the world as we leverage “Science For A Better Life”.

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