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Bayer and Google Cloud will join forces to develop artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to assist radiologists, potentially reducing burnout and supporting efficient diagnoses, Bayer announced earlier this week.

The German multinational pharmaceutical company will further develop its innovation platform to accelerate the creation and deployment of AI-powered healthcare applications with a clear focus on radiology, using Google Cloud’s technology, including its Generative AI (gen AI) tools.

The cooperation aims to help organizations overcome many of the challenges in building scalable and compliant AI-powered medical imaging software products using leading data security capabilities, Bayer wrote in the communiqué. The new alliance will also help accelerate the development of potentially groundbreaking and impactful solutions that ultimately benefit patients.

“Radiology plays a vital role in healthcare, and the need to efficiently and accurately uncover insights and deliver solutions at scale that can improve patient outcomes has never been greater,” Nelson Ambrogio, President of Radiology at Bayer, said. “Bayer has a heritage in radiology with decades of contributions to radiological research and innovation. Through the collaboration with Google Cloud, our joint efforts will help organizations in the healthcare and life science industry transform the growing amounts of data into valuable and impactful insights, potentially saving radiologists time and helping them optimize their important work for the benefit of patients.”

“Radiologists and other clinicians facing burnout due to the sheer volume of work they face every day is increasing. Gen AI can help tackle repetitive tasks and provide insights into massive data sets, hopefully saving valuable time and helping to positively impact patient outcomes,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “We look forward to our continued collaboration with Bayer as it shapes the future of diagnostics and may help its customers deliver insights to patients with accuracy and speed.”

Medical imaging data accounts for about 90 percent of all healthcare data, and billions of medical images get scanned globally each year, a number that continues to grow and increase the workload for radiologists and other healthcare professionals that work with medical imaging. ‘‘New supportive AI-tools need to be developed and maintained to handle and analyze this enormous amount of data efficiently,’’ Bayer wrote.

Bayer’s innovation platform provides a cloud-native pipeline from product idea to launch:

  • Analyze and experiment: The users will be able to uncover insights with AI-powered data analysis and help design breakthrough healthcare solutions by accessing a data ecosystem, as well as using intelligent search and data preparation capabilities. In addition, users will have the ability to explore and extract information from regulations and scientific papers, all within a collaboration platform with leading data security capabilities.
  • Build and validate: Developers will also be able to scale and engineer solutions using gen AI assistance for ideation, development, validation and lifecycle management; generate documents in alignment with healthcare requirements to aid in gaining regulatory approval; leverage medical imaging core lab services from Bayer for clinical performance evaluation.
  • Launch and monitor: Healthcare and life science companies will be able to deploy AI medical solutions standardised for flexible integration across compatible healthcare systems; and analyze field data for insights, bias detection, and continuous improvement.

The platform is built on Google Cloud and uses tools like Vertex AI, BigQuery, Healthcare API and Chronicle. Bayer’s platform is designed to help bring these critical gen AI-powered innovative tools to market faster and more cost-effective than current practices, and a first version for extended testing is planned to be made available later this year in the EU and the U.S.

‘‘The pairing of Bayer’s deep radiology, healthcare regulatory and clinical data handling expertise with Google’s technology leadership in gen AI and other fields has the potential to significantly impact the healthcare ecosystem, by improving patient outcomes, reducing costs, and accelerating the pace of innovation,’’ Bayer concluded.

For more information on Bayer’s innovation platform, please check the interview we did with Guido Mathews at ECR 2024: