When the COVID-19 pandemic initially struck, healthcare professionals rushed to find effective treatments. However, since developing new drugs takes time and time was at a premium, the most expedient option was to repurpose existing drugs. They turned to machine learning to make that happen. This interesting topic came to us from Healthcare Finance in their article, “A new machine learning approach may find treatment options for COVID-19.”

In response to the situation, Caroline Uhler, a computational biologist in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Institute for Data, Systems and Society, and an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, led a team in developing a machine learning-based approach to identify drugs already on the market that could potentially be repurposed to fight COVID-19, particularly in the elderly.

They looked to big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to zero in on the most promising drug repurposing candidates.

Melody K. Smith

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