How the Pharmaceutical Industry Is Using AI | ETF Trends

Industry-leading pharmaceutical firms are adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to drive value for the future of their enterprise. AI is currently being implemented within the industry to reduce human error, streamline processes and analyze data to develop new pharmaceuticals. As a result, AI has the potential to improve patient outcomes, lower costs for industry participants, and revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry.

Several companies in the VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF (NDQ: PPH) are currently integrating AI into their operations. These companies are at the forefront of the AI revolution. This blog will address how Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, and AstraZeneca implement artificial intelligence and illustrate how they intend to utilize this technology to transform the industry.

Using AI to Drive Better Patient Outcomes

The American multinational firm Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is well-known for being one of the largest global suppliers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. They have been investing in AI to expand their capabilities. Verb Surgical is a project born from a collaboration with Verily Life Sciences LLC that is making strides in integrated robotic surgery. The system gathers and analyzes vast amounts of data to guide surgeons toward better patient outcomes by potentially reducing human error.

Johnson & Johnson is also utilizing AI to enhance their diagnostics abilities. Janssen Research & Development is one of Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiaries that has combined forces with WinterLight Labs to develop an audio receptive AI platform designed to analyze speech patterns. This technology has been created to offer patients faster diagnoses of neurogenerative disorders like Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Using AI to Reduce Drug Development Time and Cut Costs

Novartis (NYSE: NVS) signaled its commitment to the implementation of artificial intelligence by establishing an in-house AI innovation lab as well as an external partnership with Microsoft. This partnership is intended to leverage Microsoft’s AI technology to advance Novartis’s capabilities in personalized therapies for macular degeneration, cell and gene therapy, and drug design. By investing in AI, Novartis may be able to streamline its processes and reduce the time it takes to gauge efficacy and feasibility from years to weeks. If effective, this increase in efficiency could cut costs for the firm exponentially.

The AI Revolution is Underway in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The global pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca (NDQ: AZN), shows promise with their AI implementation strategy in drug development. Their partnership with BenevolentAI has amounted to the identification of several potential patient solutions. By using AI to analyze vast amounts of data, the two may be able to develop new drugs and therapies to treat chronic kidney disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at record pace and reduced costs. The direction is promising, the two have yet to develop a new drug entirely with AI, but a breakthrough like this could be on the horizon.

Several companies in the VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH) are currently integrating AI into their operations. These companies are the largest in the space and at the forefront of the AI revolution in healthcare. From Johnson & Johnson’s AI advancements in robotic surgery and diagnostics to Novartis’s AI-enhanced processes and AstraZeneca’s AI-powered drug development, AI is being used to improve patient outcomes, reduce overall development costs and revolutionize the industry. As AI technology continues to evolve, we will likely see even more innovative and transformative applications of this technology in healthcare.

VanEck’s Pharmaceutical ETF offers exposure to the firms mentioned above and the 25 most prominent names in the space. The fund seeks to track a rigorous index that provides pure-play exposure to the industry (the Fund’s index is the MVIS US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index, which tracks the overall performance of companies involved in pharmaceuticals, including pharmaceutical research and development as well a production, marketing and sales of pharmaceuticals). The most prominent companies in the sector are the ones that can materially invest in artificial intelligence as early adopters and reap the benefits of innovation.

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Originally published 12 May 2023. 

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Sources:,,, as of 5/03/2023.

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