Fortrea launches AI R&D arm to streamline clinical trials

Fortrea has launched a new research and development arm aimed at creating artificial-intelligence-driven clinical trial technologies that make studies speedier, safer and more efficient. 

The contract research organization announced June 27 in a press release that it is launching the AI Innovation Studio, a branch of the company that will come up with and test out AI and machine learning tech. The studio will partner with other Fortrea departments and provide clients with custom AI solutions as well as come up with new tech to improve trials more broadly, according to the announcement. 

The studio's tech capabilities "will allow AI-enabled systems to perform cutting-edge processes—such as trial simulations, predictive analytics and pattern recognition—as well as repetitive, administrative, 'machine-friendly tasks,'” Alejandro Martinez Galindo, chief information officer at Fortrea, said in the release. “This frees up people to contribute human creativity and connection to the clinical trial of tomorrow and focus on what counts: the patient.”

AI is already widely used in drug development and is advancing into clinical trials, too, as evidenced by the many CRO announcements about AI-associated developments in the past year alone. A recent study on AI-assisted trial enrollment showed using AI to determine whether a patient would be a good fit for a trial sped up recruitment and cost just 11 cents per patient, a fraction of the thousands of dollars normally spent per subject. 

Some of the AI Innovation Studio's projects in the works include smartphone-enabled data collection, large language models, decision-making models that use real-world scenarios to come up with solutions, advanced data mining and digital twins, or technology that uses subject data to predict how they would respond if they were in the control group of a clinical trial. Fortrea will integrate developments that come out of the studio into its own technology platform, according to the CRO’s announcement.