Meet the woman using AI to improve clinical safety

28 Jul 2021

Nicole Baker. Image: Biologit

Biologit founder Nicole Baker believes automation will become increasingly important for screening scientific literature.

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Immunologist Nicole Baker has more than two decades of experience in academia, pharma regulation and clinical research.

While working in the biotech and pharma industry, Baker specifically worked in the area of pharmacovigilance, which involves reviewing the vast number of medical extracts published each year as well as, increasingly, forums such as social media, to identify any red flags regarding adverse effects of drugs on the market.

Using this extensive knowledge, she went on to create Biologit, an artificial intelligence start-up that aims to help keep patients safe by simplifying the detection of adverse events from drug development to post-market. It does this by automating the task of monitoring scientific literature.

“I have always been interested in science, but also on how to best use technology to help with new discoveries and on our day-to-day activities,” Baker told Siliconrepublic.com.

Biologit came from Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme, in which Baker participated in 2019. She then went on to participate in Big Ideas 2020.

Biologit is already working alongside 20 pilot partners in the pharma industry on real-world tasks, rigorously testing its AI models across a variety of cases. Currently looking for funding to expand the team, Baker expects to launch a validated SaaS commercial product in mid-2021.

‘There are plenty of opportunities for automation and we’re only getting started’
– NICOLE BAKER

Baker said the volume of scientific literature can get extremely high and the screening is laborious and demands a lot of time from experts. This motivated her and her team to develop AI to help do this screening faster while maintaining high accuracy.

“We have built a solution from the ground up with the needs of pharmacovigilance and clinical safety industry in mind. Our solution ingests, de-duplicates and tags every incoming article with predictions based on AI models we’ve developed in close collaboration with subject matter experts in this area,” she said.

“Customers can manage their screening processes through the integrated workflow. The entire process is cloud-based and easy to adopt. And we’re always investing in expanding the reach of our article database so we can catch more events for our customers.”

The company’s first product, Biologit MLM-AI, is now in beta with a number of industry partners. Biologit plans for a full release in the coming months.

MLM-AI was built with the needs of drug safety professionals in mind, integrating AI and workflow automation to deliver high-quality literature screening faster.

According to Biologit, the product’s AI-based screening automatically filters irrelevant articles and reduces screening workload by up to 70pc.

Baker said automation will become more common within the medical space due to the ever-increasing volume of data. “Humans will not be able to catch up. Automation is necessary for efficiency and accuracy.”

She said that moving from a background in research and pharma into entrepreneurship and automation has been an interesting journey.

“It was scary at first, but I had a good understanding of the problem we wanted to solve and I really believed in what we were developing. The team around us is very competent and we received overwhelming positive feedback from costumers. It is a very different environment to work in with lots of unknowns. It is very exciting to do something new,” she said.

“We are very excited to what the future holds and the space we are in. AI has a lot to deliver in pharmacovigilance and clinical safety, there are plenty of opportunities for automation and we’re only getting started.”

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Jenny Darmody is the deputy editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com