Lexalytics®, the leader in “words-first” machine learning and artificial intelligence, announced today that it is working with Biogen Japan LTD. to create a system to respond faster and more accurately to questions it receives from patients, the media, physicians and other constituents at its Medical Information Department (MID). The semi-custom application leverages the Lexalytics Pharmaceutical Industry Pack and combines machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) with natural language processing (NLP) to immediately understand what conditions, drugs, ailments or issues a constituent is calling about and deliver a proper response.
When a Biogen constituent calls into the MID, an operator is expected to provide a timely and accurate response. To achieve this goal under the current system, the operator has access to a database of frequently asked questions (FAQs), as well as product information brochures and other resources. If the operator is not able to answer the caller within one minute, the call is escalated to a Medical Director, which is costly for Biogen and frustrating for the caller. By combining machine learning and keyword search in a unified platform, the Lexalytics system is designed to reduce average call time without sacrificing quality of responses, reduce the number of calls that need to be referred to a Medical Director and consolidate the institutional knowledge located in disparate sources and databases, making it available across the organization.
“We’ve worked with Lexalytics for years on programs surrounding Voice of the Patient, Voice of the Key Opinion Leader (KoL) and social media monitoring, and they’ve always been a key partner,” said Keith Ho, Director, Customer Focus and Medical Digital at Biogen. “Traditionally, the thinking in the pharma and neuroscience industries has been that the specific terminology is so arcane and the data so unstructured that machines couldn’t possibly be trained to tackle some of our most difficult problems, but early testing with Lexalytics has been very promising. We believe this system is a first for pharma, and we’re excited to see how it improves our customer care.”
“We’re honored to grow our relationship with the neuroscience pioneers at Biogen,” said Jeff Catlin, CEO at Lexalytics. “We’ve been expanding our expertise in pharma for years, and this new system we’re creating with Biogen is a great example of how AI and NLP, when deployed the right way, can solve some very real business problems.”
The new Lexalytics system has been trained using proprietary data from Biogen Japan LTD., including transcripts from call logs, product information brochures and internal FAQ documents. While the system is currently being tested in a call center-type environment, Biogen believes that it shows promise for use at all constituent touchpoints, whether email, social media, chatbots or even a physician’s desk. The initial prototype system represents a transcontinental collaboration which took approximately a month to develop and is expected to be in full production by early 2020. Given the complexity of the Japanese language, Biogen and Lexalytics are confident the success of this pilot can be replicated for other languages and geographies.
At Biogen, our mission is clear: we are pioneers in neuroscience. Biogen discovers, develops, and delivers worldwide innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases as well as related therapeutic adjacencies. One of the world’s first global biotechnology companies, Biogen was founded in 1978 by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray, and Nobel Prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp, and today has the leading portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis, has introduced the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, and is focused on advancing neuroscience research programs in MS and neuroimmunology, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, movement disorders, neuromuscular disorders, acute neurology, neurocognitive disorders, pain, and ophthalmology. Biogen also commercializes biosimilars of advanced biologics.
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