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Beyond the Hype: Identifying Applications for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics in Clinical Decision Support

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to disrupt the health care industry, and providers are integrating AI into their processes to improve patient outcomes, increase efficiency and address costs.  Within clinical decision support (CDS), AI offers the possibility to automate routine tasks; provide access to the latest clinical trials; better use data to inform the care continuum, and ultimately enhance the patient-physician relationship.

Our client, a global health care device manufacturer, needed to understand how AI was being used to improve CDS in order to design information-enabled medical products. Recognizing RTI Innovation Advisors’ strengths in identifying and vetting emerging technology, the client asked us to construct a landscape of existing and emerging AI algorithms, tools, software, and technologies they could use to identify strategic partnerships to pursue.

Framing the disruptive power of artificial intelligence 

Tapping into the vast resources at RTI International, we consulted with our in-house health care and data science experts to understand factors that impact CDS feasibility and analyze emerging healthcare technology trends.  Further, we conducted broad research on emerging AI solutions in the healthcare space.

Although our client’s original interest was AI, as we investigated the technology in this complicated space we confirmed that a simpler data analytics solution could be as good, if not better given the organization’s needs. We broadened the project scope to include data analytics.

Using our structured approach to technology intelligence we helped our client learn faster than the competition and stay ahead of the innovation curve by

  • evaluating data analytics and AI approaches to improve CDS
  • defining potential barriers to success
  • confirming that a solution or partner would have to consider clinical relevance, impact on clinical workflow, and health IT and data management.


Using the insights we provided, our client better understood the applications of a complex and rapidly changing technology and they are better able to create cutting-edge products. We put our client on the right path and gave them the information they needed to get the product to market more quickly. As the organization defined its strategy to enter the AI space for chronic disease management, our client used our insights to determine what makes up the most promising partners and technology developers and to inform its strategic partnership plans.

While we enabled our client’s understanding of AI and data analytics use cases related to the clinical condition in which it was interested, the question of AI and data analytics will continue to emerge related to other conditions. As a result, we equipped the team to think about these tools in the context of other diseases and this is critical to the company’s future success.

With expertise in near-, mid- and long-term applications of complex and rapidly-changing technologies, we ensure that our clients can create cutting-edge health products, and deliver on our promise of science for global good.

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